10 Things You Need to Know about the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship

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The world’s best longboarders have gathered in Wanning, China to compete for Gold and represent their nations at the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship. Here are the ten things that you need to know about the upcoming event:

  1. 1- Record Participation

With over 70 longboarders from 22 nations set to compete in search of the individual and Team Gold, the 2018 edition of the event will be the largest to date.

Riyue Bay provides an excellent platform for the world’s best longboarders to display their talents in competition. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans
Riyue Bay provides an excellent platform for the world’s best longboarders to display their talents in competition. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans
  1. 2- Gender Equality

Building on the ISA’s push to promote gender equality in the sport of Surfing, the 2018 edition of the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship will offer equal slots per team for men and women (2 each).

The ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship joins the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship and ISA World Surfing Games as ISA events that recently adopted gender equal team sizes, representative of the rapid growth in participation and talent in women’s Surfing.

  1. 3- Watch the Event Live Online

The ISA World Championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from January 19-25. 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.

  1. 4- The Growth of the Sport in China

Hainan Island, and particularly Riyue Bay, has been the epicenter of the growth of Surfing experienced in China. Since the sport was first introduced to the area less than two decades ago, Surfing has taken great strides of development highlighted by ISA World Championships held since 2012, ISA instructing and certification courses run since 2013, and China fielding their first team to compete in the ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France in May of 2017.

Riyue Bay is a long, left-hand point break with a sand bottom located on the southeast coast of Hainan Island. Riyue Bay is considered one of the most consistent, quality waves in China and as a result has been host to many international surfing events, including ISA and WSL Longboard Championships.

To see a map of Riyue Bay, click here.

  1. 5- Longboard – The Original Discipline of Surfing

The discipline of longboard preserves the elegant, traditional style of the sport that was originally practiced in Hawaii where the modern-day version of the sport was born.

Longboard involves a surfboard of at least nine feet in length where the surfer performs an artistic ‘dance’ on the board, walking to the nose and performing gliding turns. In recent years, longboarding has experienced a resurgence in popularity among young people as a fun, exciting contrast to shortboard surfing.

England’s Ben Howey warms up for the competition with a hang-five at Riyue Bay. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans
England’s Ben Howey warms up for the competition with a hang-five at Riyue Bay. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans
  1. 6- The History

Longboard was first held as an ISA medal division at the 1988 ISA World Surfing Titles (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. 2018 will mark the second time the world event will run, set to crown the first-ever ISA Longboard World Champions in China.

  1. 7- The World Champions

The ISA has crowned 17 longboard World Champions since 1988. The 2013 Gold Medalists are the following:

Open Men: Antoine Delpero (FRA)
Open Women: Simone Robb (RSA)
Junior: Honolua Blomfield (HAW)

  1. 8- Social Media

The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and don’t forget to use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #ISAWLSC.

Facebook: International Surfing Association (@ISAsurfing)
Instagram: @ISAsurfing
Twitter: @ISAsurfing
Snapchat: @ISA_Surfing
Youtube: @ISAsurfing

  1. 9- The Schedule*

January 19 – Opening Ceremony at Riyue Bay, 9:30am CST
January 20-25 – Competition at Riyue Bay, 8:00am-5:00pm CST

*Schedule subject to changes.

  1. 10- The Mission

Recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body for Surfing, the ISA’s mission is to create a better world through Surfing. This is accomplished through annual World Championships for surfers representing their countries, development of Adaptive Surfing, membership development, educational programs, scholarship distribution and preparing for Surfing’s participation in the Olympic Games.

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 103 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).