Sep
28
Surfing is Officially an Olympic Sport

shida-beach

You may or may not know but surfing has been chosen in a unanimous vote to be included in the 2020 Tokyo games. Here’s all the info we could find on how surfing will be represented in the next summer Olympic games:

Location

With the recent unveiling of the Kelly Slater Wave Pool many assumed the competition would take place in some sort of wave pool, but the event will take place in the town of Chiba and the contest site will be at Shidashita ‘Shida’ Beach (pictured above). Shida Beach is a jetty lined beach break. The jetties help to create a consistent sandbar and offer up a punchy beach break. Fingers crossed for a typhoon swell and that we will see the world’s best surfers compete in premiere conditions.

Qualification

The games will feature 20 men and 20 women short boarders from around the world competing in their separate gender divisions. There are no official qualification rules in place for how the men and women will be chosen but information will be available in 2017. Their options are to either hold a series of qualification trials leading up to the games, much like other Olympic sports or they may also use preexisting ISA and WSL rankings. They may even use a combination of both the rankings and trials. The IOC wants not only the top athletes but also geographic diversity, so likely a mix of what the two top governing surf associations, ISA & WSL, currently represent. A lot can happen in 4 years, stay tuned to see who will represent your country.

Competition

The event will take two days to run in entirety and they are given the whole two weeks of the Olympic Games as a swell window. It will high performance short boarding only. It is still uncertain what type of judging criteria the event will adopt. It is assumed they will likely use established judging criteria that can be seen at ISA or WSL events. Although this event will be held in the ocean it is still in the planning process to include wave pools in future Olympic Games.

This is surfing’s time to make a great first impression on the Olympics and a large global audience. We’re excited to see the world’s best compete in athletics’ greatest contest of sport, the Olympic Games. May the best watermen and women win.

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