HOSSEGOR, France (Wednesday, October 9, 2019) - The global professional surfers' representative body, World Professional Surfers (WPS), today announced a historic 10-year agreement with the World Surf League (WSL), marking the longest partnership agreement in history between the two groups.
"The working relationship between the WPS and the WSL has strengthened significantly in recent years and we're very pleased to announce the 10-year agreement between the surfers and the League today," Christian Beserra, WPS COO, said. "It's a great symbol of the long-term commitment, trust and confidence the surfers have in the WSL and the direction that ownership and management are taking the sport of surfing. It will be great for the Athletes to continue to have a world-class platform to perform on for many years to come."
Crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 - first as the International Professional Surfers (IPS), then as the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) - the World Surf League (WSL) runs a global tour for the world's best surfers at some of the most premium surfing locations on the planet.
"The WSL has transformed the sport of surfing so much in the last few years and the elevation of how we're treated as athletes is really important," Adrian Buchan, Championship Tour surfer and Surfer Representative, said. "The next decade is poised to be the most exciting in the sport's history and we look forward to continuing to build this together."
Acquired in 2012, the then-ASP-now-WSL aggregated all the previously-disparate aspects of the sport under a singular organization. It has invested heavily in the quality of venues, broadcast and promotion of professional surfing for its international audience, which has resulted in quantum shifts in terms of performance from the world's best surfers and significantly growing interest from fans and partners around the world.
"From the investing in amazing venues to pay equality to the elevation of surfing at the highest level, the WSL has really advanced surfing in an impactful way," Tatiana Weston-Webb, Championship Tour surfer and Surfer Representative, said. "I believe the performances of both men and women have evolved because of this investment and I only see it getting better from here."
With surfing included as an Olympic sport in the 2020 games, the agreement between the WPS and the WSL comes at an important time in terms of collaborating on how best to optimize the Olympic opportunity as well as the continued improvement and evolution of the sport for its global audience.
"We pride ourselves on our close working relationships with our surfers and today's announcement is symbolic of that," Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. "The 10-year agreement is fantastic in terms of confirming our alignment with our surfers, as we look to continue to deliver the best surfing via our channels and events for our fans and partners, to further build on the significant growth over the past few years. With the innovation and improvements we continue to make to the tour and the opportunity of the Olympics ahead of us, we look forward to continuing to work closely with our surfers in delivering even more access and value to fans and partners moving ahead."
Surfing as a sport has evolved considerably in recent years with the surfers, themselves, transforming the way they train, engage with fans, compete with one another and perform on the world's most dynamic field of play.
"WSL has been of huge benefit to the Surfers, providing progress, continuity and stability to the Surfers and the Tour," Greville Mitchell, WPS Founder said. "This can only be excellent news for both the Surfers and the Tour."
The world's best surfers are currently competing in the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France.