By Tom Lloyd, La Jolla, California, Jan 21, 2019: The IISA is pleased to announce that Biarritz, France will host the 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship (WLSC) at Côte des Basques from May 26 – June 2.
The world championship, which is organized in partnership with the French Surfing Federation, will follow a recording-break 2018 edition that was held in Wanning, China – where 71 athletes from 22 nations competed for the Gold Medals and Team World Championship Trophy.
In 2019, the WLSC will feature a gender equal format for the second consecutive year.
Each team will be able to field up to two men and two women, once more highlighting the ISA’s commitment to promote gender equality across its entire championship series.
Côte des Basques in Biarritz has played a historic role in the development of surfing in France – as well as Europe as a whole.
Considered the birthplace of European Surfing in 1957, the long, gentle waves of Côte des Basques have made it an iconic spot for longboard surfing and it has hosted numerous global longboard competitions throughout the years.
The nearby Grand Plage in Biarritz was also the host of the highly successful 2017 ISA World Surfing Games, accentuated by huge crowds on the beach.
At the 2018 WLSC, USA’s Tory Gilkerson led Team USA to the Gold Medal position, and in doing so earned personal World Champion honors in the Women’s Division.
Hawaii’s Kai Sallas earned Gold among the Men.
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.
2019 will mark the third time the event will run as a separate world championship, set to crown the first ISA Longboard World Champions in France since the 1992 ISA World Surfing Championship in Lacanau.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“We are very happy to see France continue to show its commitment and enthusiasm for the global development of all forms of surfing through the hosting of this ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship.
We look forward to celebrating the style and grace of longboard surfing at one of the sport’s classic wave destinations.
“The longboard discipline has ridden the wave of momentum created by shortboard surfing’s inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and we have seen increased participation in the sport all around the world.
2018 featured a record number of athletes and countries from all five continents of the globe, as well as introducing new, non-traditional nations to the event – including China and Chinese Taipei, among others.
“We are confident that this world championship will not only showcase the sport in France, but also accentuate the youthful energy and high-performance action that all disciplines of surfing can bring to a global stage.
“We are looking forward to working with our partners at the French Surfing Federation and the city of Biarritz to put on an excellent showing of the sport under a global spotlight.”
ISA Executive Committee Regular Member and President of the French Surfing Federation, Jean-Luc Arassus, said:
“The French Surfing Federation sees Longboard as one of surfing’s emblematic disciplines with a rich history and culture, so it was our pleasure to put forward a bid to host the world championships in France.
“And this event takes on added importance with the qualification slots for the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games and the 2019 Pan American Games.
It is a new opportunity to display the beauty and the quality of the waves of our coastline.
“The 2017 Games in Biarritz was a huge success, with hundreds of thousands of spectators and a record participation.
We are therefore looking forward to returning to success with another ISA World Championship in France.”