Surfing World Champs
Competitive surfing has been going on for decades now. From the 1960s on, we've seen the greatest surf champions in the world battle it out on various tours across the globe.
Trying to win an argument about who championed the ISF back in 1970 or who came out on top in the '95 ASP?
If so, you've come to the right place.
Come dive in with us as take a look at the long history of surfing championships and the pro and amateur winners of various tours from the 1960s until now!
History Of World Wins
The ISA was renamed the ISF between 1963 and 1973.
Before the ISF, there weren't any true world surfing champions.
The institution still exists in La Jolla, CA, where it is headquartered, though you can find one-off events held throughout the year in various locations.
In many ways, the ISA paved new paths for surf champions across the globe, allowing the world to see surfers as true athletes.
The Smirnoff World Pro-AM Surfing Championships didn't come around until 1969.
Event promoter and former pro surfer Fred Hemmings was to thank for this particular event.
The first Smirnoff World Championship was held in Santa Cruz, CA, though the competition was eventually moved over to North Shore, Oahu.
These surfing championships lasted until 1977, before Fred Hemmings teamed up with Randy Rarick to start the IPS.
The IPS or International Professional Surfers was developed by former surfers Randy Rarick and Fred Hemmings back in 1976. It started as a small contest circuit throughout South Africa, Australia, and Hawaii.
This was the very first world surfing competition to introduce man-on-man heats. As a result, Fred and Randy were able to get some of the best surfing champions to join this world tour.
The IPS is known today as the original organization for surfing.
It was also one of the first surfing events that offered a substantial monetary prize for men's and women's heats. The event lasted until 1983.
Ahhh, the golden years of surfing...
In 1983, surfer Ian Cairns led a revolt against the IPS to create the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals).
Looking at the history of surfing as a sport, the ASP was the longest-lasting pro organization with some of the most tremendous success.
Many surfers thank the ASP for providing surfing with media visibility, increasing cash prizes for surfing events, and spreading the sport worldwide.
While the ASP was controversial in many ways, it was the breaking ground for several surfing champions that became role models for many famous surfers today.
Throughout the '90s and early '00s, the popularity of surfing skyrocketed. As a result, many refer to it as the "golden era" of surfing.
World Surf League
ZoSea purchased ASP back in 2013, renaming it the World Surf League (WSL).
Today, the World Surf League organizes and runs pro surfing tours throughout the world, differentiating it from the International Surfing Association (ISA), which certifies surf schools and instructors and runs the World Surfing Games.
It wasn't until 2015 that the new WSL logo that we all know and love came about.
The WSL has both men's and women's surfing champions in longboard, shortboard, and big wave categories.
You'll also find a few specific men's and women's championships, including the World Longboard Championships, The Big Wave Tour, and the World Junior Championships.
Beyond the main WSL HQ in Santa Monica, CA, you'll find WSL 0ffices in Japan, New York City, Hawaii, Brazil, South Africa, France, and Australia.
FUN FACT: 2016 was the first year in more than a decade that the men's world championship went to a Hawaiian.