It's official: Surfing is in the Olympics

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

7471206-4x3-940x705.jpgThe momentum was all heading in one direction, and overnight it became official - surfing will become an Olympic sport.

The news came following a vote by the International Olympic Commission in Rio today; surfing will join skateboarding, sport climbing, baseball, softball and karate as new additions to the Olympic Games. They'll join in 2020 at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

President of the IOC Ferenando Aguerre was understandably thrilled. He's been pushing for this with single-minded determination for over 20 years.

“After decades of hard work and dedication we are absolutely thrilled that surfing will officially join the Olympic Sports Program at Tokyo 2020," said Aguerre. "Our Olympic dream has now become a reality and on behalf of the entire surfing family I would like to express our sincere thanks to the IOC and Tokyo 2020 for their pioneering vision in making this historic decision possible."

“This is a game-changing moment for surfing. We are already seeing increased popularity of the sport across the world and the Olympic Games will provide an incredible platform to further showcase surfing and its core values. With its unique and modern blend of sport performance, style and youth culture, surfing will help deliver something special to the Games."

As yet, the format is unknown, however it'll involve 20 men and 20 women surfers and will be held at Shidashita Beach in Chiba, Japan. The dates mooted are late July to early August. If this is the case it'll limit the involvement of Championship Tour surfers as it falls in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter leg of the tour. Dates change year by year, however Tahiti, Fiji, and Jeffreys Bay are all held close by.

The WSL has already given an in principal agreement to work with the IOC but it remains to be seen how much they'll change their schedule or offer up their employees to the Olympic cause.

Comments

flow's picture
flow's picture
flow commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 8:13am

Just what the sport needs. What makes it a "game changing moment"? More crowds?
I'm so glad that they will be able to provide a platform to showcase surfing and it's core values! I wonder what these core values are.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 8:26am

I find it somewhat ironic that the images being used in Social Media to accompany this news are of surf conditions that absolutely won't occur at the Tokyo Olympics.

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:06am

Thought for sure a Kelly Pool would of been built.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:14am

Zen, what's your take on the location being recommended ?
Looks like a similar entry as per tennis, golf - not going to be really the pinnacle for this sport, I sense.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:17am

Surely in 4 years time the technology will be there to run it in a wave pool?

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:48am

They said, the sea was chosen to reduce the chance of the host country being stuck with an expensive, post-Olympics, white elephant sports facility.
Kelly's wavepool prototype looks brilliant. That's a very long way from having a proven, commercially successful, sports venue.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:49am

This is true, but I think a wave pool would get tons of use post the Olympics.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:57am

Kelly's wave certainly has the quality. I'm still unsure of the turbulence/wave frequency issue for being able the pack in the punters for a successful commercial recreational/training facility.

Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:32am

I wonder if the lower or not ranked surfing countries (say Malawi or Nepal) will be able to enter their Eddie the Eagles (Eddie Edwards, British Olympic Ski Jumper, Calgary 1988) and Eric the Eels (Eric Moussambani, Equitorial Guinea, Swimmer, Sydney 2000)?

"20 men & 20 women" it says so that wouldn't leave many places for real surfers.

But, as far as mens golf goes, there aren't many of the mens best golfers turning up in Rio anyway.

Surfing will probably be the same. Regardless it shouldn't be there.

If you don't know who Eric the Eel is have a look at this. Whatever happened to Roy & HG? Imagine the surfing equivalent?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ7uWpn4DTs

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:41am

One Olympics too late for the Brazilians.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 10:01am

TBarbs, don't know the beach in Chiba, but if it's like any other beach around that part of Japan it will be grey sand, litter and acres of cement. Kinda looking forward to see how the Jappies will present their coastline to the rest of the world. Don't worry, they'll tart it up with plastic palm trees and Hello Kitty mascots.

Good chance of waves though. Plenty of swell this time of the year. Lots of southerly groundswell from Typhoons and the real chance of a very big swell if one moves close to the coast.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 10:03am

The Olympics lost its shine and credibility a long time ago, I suspect that the inclusion of "sports" like surfing will add to the disinterest.

ashleigh's picture
ashleigh's picture
ashleigh commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 10:13am

Surfing in the Olympics - how stupid, short sighted and ignorant are these people?
Commercialism has driven surfing so deep into the mainstream that it was only a matter of time and natural progression before it became an Olympic sport.
Putting it up there on the world's biggest stage to be showcased to a global audience of millions can only be detrimental to surfing itself. It's becoming just another golf and tennis style of mainstream sport. Still, there are obviously enough people out there happy enough to see it go down that path so they can squander as much money out of it as they can in the process. Sadly that's just the way of the world these days I suppose.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 12:47pm

More popularity = worse experience for the majority of participants more so than virtually any other sport.

It is about time the surf industry align themselves to core values of the sport and either:
1. Actively discourage people from surfing to make it more enjoyable for the core enthusiasts, or
2. build quality wave pools & artificial reefs to create more good waves

Promoting demand with no increase in supply ("facilities") is game changing in a negative way for the majority.

Of course more popularity from some shorebreak battle in Japan (at Fukushima lefts maybe) might lead to a few wave pools but I suspect the balance between limited supply and demand increases will remain out of kilter for decades to come.

The resurgence of the great white shark is a wild card in all this though. The USA, Australia and South Africa are poised at the cross-roads with where their population numbers and possible behavioral shifts are taking surfing popularity.

Frogg

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 1:12pm

Firstly if surfing fraternity is happy then so must I be. Strange to think surfing is possibly only sport to have shaken off it's druggy past, little corruption by generating it's own honest wealth and only a slight hangover with beer.How is it a win to associate with Olympic movement bogged down amidst a seedy hotbed of privilege/drugs and corruption. Mummy I want a seapony with matching good as gold Olympic medal ! Call it for what it is!... H2o dressage for seachange elite! Just imagine the crying game if all had to compete on equal nerdy Olympic nerf designs or challenge surf without aids altogether,then they'd be found guilty as athletes responsible for reigniting Olympic spirit.(oops!) No advantage no Olympics no sales.(free-tip)Cast light on fellow Olympic elite rowers/cyclists..start milking for deserved inane classes SB 1F,2F,3F,4F,5F +FISH (mod)+ FISH(timber)+FISH(non F)+MAL+SUP go whole hog... bag 50 odd more gold medals for Australia. I too agree,hard to believe Olympic Birdman Rally in Wave pools no longer in pipeline.One small step from Govt's porkbarrell'n Clark's inflatable wavepools freely across land as Olympic infrastructure. Above'Olympic' photo more plastic than the pools...Jet ski ride out towed back in, wax model strapped in on lump of lard modelling matching summer sports suit busy flaunt'n a Rollex one hand wavin' gulls a cone of hot chips the other and in traditional Gidget style not a hair wet nor out of place.Taking the piss on athletes/surfers and surf movies all in one go,should've sent out hogcall for Aldi shark baiting Santa hams.Best to look wet for medal presentations, cans or BYO @ Olympic Podium . Hooroo! Ola! Oi Oi Oi!

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 1:28pm

Great. More tacit legitimising of the less social aspects of surfing.

They hold lots of junior surfing comps here - which is great in terms of their community and for kids being involved etc - but it stinks when the reality of that is 50 frothing hyper competitive pre-pubes paddling in and around everyone for what they see as their right (or left as the case may be). Not to mention their ability to close down any beach in the region for their own purposes.

That having been said, competitive surfing has done a lot for board development and the progression of wave riding, but where is the tipping point for that balance?

Bah. there's too many humans on this planet.

9/11 was an inside job.

Pardon me a while.

Results may vary.

fraser-gordon's picture
fraser-gordon's picture
fraser-gordon commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 1:39pm

Skateboarding too has been given green light.Where are they going to find top level skater's that will pass drug's test .

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 2:18pm

Encouraging more people to surf. Warm and fuzzy stuff until the superbank and every other well known wave becomes unrideable from human flotsam over the next 5 years onward. The shark encouragement program here in WA is keeping the numbers at bay though. What if there is no waves for the event.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 3:04pm

I don't think it will have much effect on surfer numbers. Pretty much everybody already knows about surfing. It might just make a few extra people realise that actually watching contest surfing is mostly very dull.
The main influence on surfer numbers is people who have access to a beach seeing recreational surfers and thinking I want to give that a go. So please make sure you don't look like you are having a good time.

penmister's picture
penmister's picture
penmister commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 4:21pm

Whos the guy in the photo?
Looks like hes loving it, strapped into a 1 footer ....

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 4:38pm

Perhaps ironically in your view, that is the Brazilian big wave charger Carlos Burle.

freerider.'s picture
freerider.'s picture
freerider. commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 4:33pm

I think Fernando is deluded and has his own personal agenda. Is Fernando really doing anybody besides the WSL, himself and a few select few a favor?

penmister's picture
penmister's picture
penmister commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 8:31pm

Where did you guys think surfing would end up?
Its a greedy world full of business freaks..
Fuck mass production...
(If i could put a smile face icon up i would )
Crazy brasil....

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 8:46pm

My unreserved apology to torch surfer! I still stand by my comments but having seen 'Curse of the torch' rather( Olympic Torch Relay fails).By crikey mate no Aussie 'd care if that was bullet proof vest and shackles. Brasil's new Olympic sport is kill the man with the Torch. Now 100 more soldiers try keeping flame alive(spoiler)The flame did go out! Too late for Torch bearers! Curse has them stripping down jumpin bout doin' some really weird shit. I'm sure this photo is from -'That's a wrap quick lets GTF outta here reel'! You can tell as he still has some of his trackie on ! What happens as he steps onto the beach,I don't wanna know? Just hope it was quick! Ola! Ola! Oi!Oi! Oi! Hooroo!

away's picture
away's picture
away commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 8:47pm

It will be interesting to see how it all goes.

In the forums of the skateboarding websites, most people are completely against it. I think drug testing, and the risk of losing credibility , the outlaw cool that their sponsors pay for, will keep many skaters away. I guess some guys riding for big companies that are in skateboarding now, Nike, Addidas, New Balance will be able to persuade some riders to go. But I can`t really imagine riders from brands like Anti-hero, Creature etc. will turn out. Who knows though....

In skateparks around Tokyo where I spend a lot of time , there is an opinion of general apathy among adult skaters. If we get a new skatepark, that will be great.

Among the kids though, I think some of them are pretty hyped. Already, two new largish indoor parks have opened near Tokyo (Chiba and Saitama where the land is cheaper) and aspiring young skaters go to practice their tech tricks in coaching clinics.

Personally as a skater I don`t really think skating belongs in the Olympics. If I am still in Tokyo I might go watch it. And if I am still able bodied, I will certainly go and skate the new park they are planning to build.

Slam Mag have a few great quotes from the official website... "in the park competition, tricks such as high-speed sailing through the air and somersault dismounts like in gymnastics are attractions."

Wow.

http://www.slamskateboarding.com/news/the-feed/3274-skateboarding-is-off...

penmister's picture
penmister's picture
penmister commented Thursday, 4 Aug 2016 at 9:48pm

Maybe the Olympics is buying out the x games...

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 5 Aug 2016 at 6:44pm

Truebluebasher = Uplift??????

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 5 Aug 2016 at 7:04pm

Someone please interview Bobby for an opinion piece

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer commented Friday, 5 Aug 2016 at 7:21pm

Hey Away can I ask what 'vintage' you are?- I don't much skate much anymore but I saw a Guy probably only just younger then me- ripping. I like went up to him and said I thought it was rock and roll poetry in motion to watch him, and it made me examine myself- I'm thinking of getting a skateboard (not a longboard) and starting again- why the fuck did I stop? I wouldn't if I was in Tokyo, and like you I don't agree with it in the Olympics and I yet I do in surfing, when ultimately they are much alike in dignity. Weird Huh- and Respect for still skateboarding- Society Joe average 'the man' has a win over me on that one. Maybe it's time to take the power back?

dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer commented Friday, 5 Aug 2016 at 7:24pm

off topic too- but does JJF have any cred in the skate world- do they even know he skateboards? Duel sport Olympian!!???

dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer commented Friday, 5 Aug 2016 at 7:31pm

Skateboarding is not a crime Hahaha- it's an Olympic sport constable. I had that grip tape and I'm not shitting you- my skateboard got stolen.

away's picture
away's picture
away commented Saturday, 6 Aug 2016 at 12:05am

Hey Dromodreamer,

I am getting towards mid thirties, old enough to know better but not old enough to quit. However, I skate mainly transition now, mini ramps, bowls. Hucking oneself down stairs and stuff is for kids whose bones heal quickly and people who get paid to do it. I regularly skate with guys in their 40s and 50s here who shred all over me. I think there are a lot of OGs getting back into skating and it is a lot easier to buy directional and wide decks than it used to be.

Get some wood under your feet, dodge the scooter kids which were an epidemic last time I was back in Australia, and go skate shred some of the awesome new concrete that has probably been poured around the place since you were last in the game!!

I have noticed that injuries do take longer to heel now I am in the dirty thirties and I usually skate with chunky kneepads and a helmet. It is an even harder act juggling skate with surf though... go too hard when there are no waves and then when the swell comes you are out of the water with an injury or out in the water anyway surfing badly and hindering your recovery.

dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer's picture
dromodreamer commented Saturday, 6 Aug 2016 at 7:33pm

Cheers, away! I was thinking directional as fakie was never a strong point, though at least I'm pretty ok at half cabs, which I guess in surfing we call 'picking the nose'!!!

poo-man's picture
poo-man's picture
poo-man commented Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016 at 7:01pm

i see that the Australian team performed dismally at the ISA World Surfing games in Costa Rica last week. Thats kind of like what the Olympics will be like I guess. Beaten by surfing powerhouses like Peru and Argentina???

poo-man

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 29 Jun 2019 at 10:45am

Official Olympic Logo vs WSL prototype.
WSL Comp range prototype flies under the radar...or..?
WSL strictly use it on Awards or Comp Shirts..expanding into premium Athlete Range
tbb asks crew if any know what this new WSL hybrid Cauldron Symbol represents?
Founders Cup it is not....I don't think.
Nor does it reflect WSL wins...I don't think

1)No Stars Cauldron
https://asbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/53271204_max.jpg
2)Stars
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcJsAIKbbvJ07oASNP...
3) stars(tbb has seen a band of 3 stars version as well then launches into skydome)
4) Cauldron with Dome of Stars on WSL #1 Shining Star
https://1v1d1e1lmiki1lgcvx32p49h8fe-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/u...

WSL seem to be testing the waters for free Olympic Merch?
Mt. Olympus Gods will soon zap WSL Surfletes to the office for unruly uniforms.

Does the crew know if this is some sorta innocent 'Star Awards' charity promo ?
Because to score a spot on Athletes shirt & Awards backdrop takes huge sway!
Surely whoever would feature front & centre on all WSL Promos but this is Premium.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 30 Jun 2019 at 8:18am

WSL Cup runnuth over.
2015 a new WSL cup was designed, but not to be presented until end of 2016
2015 / Sept WSL was accepted for Olympics
2016 / Aug WSL was included into Olympics
2016 (End) the new Mt Olympus Cauldron symbolizes WSL Olympic ideal.

Whether WSL admits that or not is irrelevant as it historically does.
WSL version is that it celebrates 40 years...(Note: 40 year Birthday cards are rare?)

2015 (The Old Mug) Corona chalice of froth & bubble runneth over...
http://www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters2015/news-ar...

2016 Hawaiian Timber Board with Quad fin mounted Olympic Cauldron
"Olympic Surfboard Sales Promo" is so far removed from a Surfer of Ocean Waves.
https://davidhertzfaia.com/new-page-2

Near identical Modern Olympics styling is evident...

2018 Olympic Cauldron (South Korea)
https://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/725/192/hi-res-78bb...

2018 Olympic Sculptures(South Korea)
https://www.schmidhuber.de/sites/default/files/styles/two-thirds/public/...

Comp Shirts seem to Award a Star in the Cup for WSL Champ...(At random comps?)
Equally the Cauldron represents WSL as an 'Olympic Surfing Competition Format'.
WSL may or not need a license to tweek this default Olympic partnership.
While Olympics brand Surfing as the cheapest sport on Earth no one is crying.
However official Olympic Merch may well conflict with WSL cauldron Logo.

New WSL Cup pantomime most unashamedly brands Athletes over Surfers.
WSL must now wear the blame for branding Surfing the cheapest ticket in town.

dimdim's picture
dimdim's picture
dimdim commented Sunday, 30 Jun 2019 at 7:30pm

Gold Coast Bulletin June 29th
McKinnon,also known as Andy Mac,was stoked to back the campaign and said surfers would be thrilled to see Gold Coast beaches immortalised around the world.
"We,d all be so supportive because after all,we,ve got the worlds best point breaks.We,ve got the worlds best surfers." He said."To have this happen in our own back yard would be incredible".
"If the Olympics was happening in our backyard,people will come from everywhere to support it."
"What a wonderful thing that would be."
Go Andy Mac.Incredible.Wonderful.Not.

捕鱼达人3