The world’s best longboarders are set to gather in Biarritz, France for the 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship (WLSC) May 26 – June 2.
Here are the ten things to know about the upcoming event:
- 1. The records
A record-breaking 104 athletes from 32 countries are set to compete, making 2019 the biggest edition of the event to date. The 2018 WLSC in Wanning, China held the previous record, with 71 athletes from 22 countries.
- 2. Gender equality
In an overarching effort to promote women’s participation across all disciplines of Surfing, the ISA has made each event in its World Championship Series gender equal, offering equal slots for men and women on each team. The ISA saw record numbers of women competing in 2018, and the 2019 edition has eclipsed these numbers, hosting a record 46 women.
- 3. How to watch live online
The ISA World Championship will be streamed live www.isasurf.org from May 26 – June 2. Visit the official event website for results, photos, videos and news pertaining to the competition.
Fans will also be able to watch the live webcast on the ISA’s Facebook page, International Surfing Association.
- 4. The tradition
Côte des Basques surf break has played a historic role in European Surfing as the first place that the sport was practiced on the continent in 1957. Since then, France’s Basque Country, with Biarritz at its center, has played a key role in the development of European surfing, hosting global events and producing world-class athletes.
- 5. The event
Longboard was first held as an ISA medal division at the 1988 ISA World Surfing Championships (now the ISA World Surfing Games) in Puerto Rico. The discipline continued as part of the ISA World Surfing Games until 2013, when it was held as a stand-alone event for the first-time in Huanchaco, Peru. 2019 will mark the third time the global event will run, set to crown the first ISA Longboard World Champions in France since the 1992 World Surfing Championships in Lacanau.
- 6. The returning world champions
The 2018 ISA Men’s and Women’s World Champions will both return to the event, however, in different capacities.
Kai Sallas, who won the Men’s Gold Medal in 2018 for Team Hawaii, will return to compete for Team USA. Due to the event’s qualification status for the 2019 Lima Pan Am Games and 2019 ANOC World Beach Games, only nations with National Olympic Committees may compete.
Tori Gilkerson, who won the Women’s Gold Medal on Team USA in 2018, will participate, not on the water, but this time as a judge, bringing her expertise in the discipline to the ISA’s international judging panel.
- 7. Pan Am qualification
The 2019 WLSC holds a special status as a qualifier for Surfing’s debut in two Olympic Movement events.
For the surfers of the Americas, a qualification spot for the top finishing man and woman is at stake for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, which will display the high performance and grace of longboard in the world’s second largest multisport event behind the Olympics.
In addition, the 2019 WLSC will serve as a qualifier for the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in San Diego, USA. The top three finishing teams will earn two slots per gender for their National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the fourth and fifth teams will earn one slot per gender for their NOC. The top finishing man and women from Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania not qualified through the previous criteria will also earn a spot for their NOC. A total of 26 places (out of 32 total) will be allocated through the 2019 WLSC.
- 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 to use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #ISAWLSC.
- 9. The schedule
May 25 – Official press conference, 10am at Radisson Blu Hotel
May 26 – Opening Ceremony, Parade of Nations 10am at Place St Eugenie, Biarritz, ceremony to follow at Côte des Basques
May 27 – June 2 – Competition at Côte des Basques
June 2 – Closing Ceremony following the competition finals at Côte des Basques
- 10. The support
The 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship has been organized in conjunction by the International Surfing Association and the French Surfing Federation (FFS).
The ISA and FFS would like to thank the partners and supporters of the event, who include: the City of Biarritz, National Centre for the Development of Sport, French National Olympic Committee, Nouvelle Aquitaine Region, Pyrénées Atlantique Region, Agglomeration Community of Basque Country Cities, Linkcity, Sojasun, Tourtel Twist, AFC Promotion, Le Carlos, and Mini.