From September 15-22 the world’s best National Surfing Teams will gather in Tahara, Japan to represent their nations and compete for Gold Medals in the 2018 Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games (WSG).
Here are the 10 things you need to know about the event:
1. The Olympics
With Surfing’s debut in the Olympics fast approaching in less than two years, the competition will provide a glimpse into the competition that one can expect to see at Tokyo 2020.
The WSG will serve as one of the Olympic qualification paths in 2019 and 2020.
Olympic Surfing will take place just 300 km to the northeast of Tahara, in the Chiba Prefecture’s Tsurigasaki Beach.
2. How to Watch Live
The live webcast will be streamed on www.isasurf.org from September 15-22. Visit the official event page for results, team rosters, photos, videos, and news pertaining to the competition.
The event can also be viewed live on the ISA’s Facebook page: International Surfing Association.
3. Commitment to Gender Equality
The 2018 edition of the WSG will make history as the first to offer equal slots for men and women. The ISA has displayed their commitment to gender equality, resulting in equal spots across genders for all Global Events.
4. Pan Am Qualification
While the ISA World Surfing Games doesn’t become an Olympic qualifier until 2019, this year’s edition still has large implications as it is a qualifier for Surfing’s debut in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
Four slots, for two men and two women, will be awarded to the highest finishing surfers from the Americas.
5. Welcoming New Nations
Among the 42 competing nations in Tahara, Iran, Hungary, and Philippines will make history with their first appearances in the event. These three new nations along with the six new nations from 2017 (Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, Greece, Senegal, and South Korea) exemplify the ISA’s dedication to growing the sport at the grassroots level in non-traditional Surfing nations.
The 42 National Teams competing rivals the record of 47 teams that was set at the 2017 edition in Biarritz, France due to the fact that in 2018, only countries with National Olympic Committees will compete. This change in 2018 is attributed to the WSG’s status as a qualifying event for Surfing’s debut in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
6. The Gold Medalists
Both 2017 individual Gold Medalists, Jhony Corzo (MEX) and Pauline Ado (FRA) will return to defend their Titles. They will attempt to become repeat champions, last accomplished by Tia Blanco for Team USA in 2015 and 2016.
Team France will return to defend their Team Title, however, Pauline Ado and Justine Dupont are the sole returning athletes from their 2017 squad. The French will rely on a host of new athletes to defend the World Team Champion Trophy.
7. The History
Originally named the International Surfing Federation World Championships, the World Surfing Games crowned the first Surfing World Champions in Manly Beach, Australia in 1964. The WSG has been crowning champions ever since, with competitions being held on all five continents of the globe.
The WSG was last held in Japan in 1990, returning to the country again in 2018 after 28 years.
8. Social Media
The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and don’t forget use the official hashtags #ISAWSG and #ISAworlds.
Facebook: International Surfing Association
9. The Schedule
- September 14 – Press Conference, 2pm at Tahara City Hall
- September 15 – Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony, 10am at Tahara City Hall
- September 16-22** – Competition at Long Beach, Tahara, 8am – 4pm
- September 22 – Closing Ceremony at Long Beach following the close of competition
*Schedule subject to change due to conditions
** The Open Men’s Division will end no later than Friday, September 21 to accommodate
10. The Support of Our Partners
The ISA would like to thank the partners, local organizers in Tahara, and supporters of this event, especially Urban Research, which has led the support as the event’s Title Sponsor.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).