WSL All About The World Surf League -

WSL All About The World Surf League

A man flying through the air while riding a wave in the ocean

Like many other sports, surfing comes on the list of the most popular sports, and because of its adventure, all surfing lovers eagerly wait for the events conducted by the World Surf League. 

What Is The World Surf League (WSL) And How Does It Work?

A person riding a surfboard on top of a sandy beach

During its initial years around 1976, WSL was known as IPS- the International Professional Surfing.

From managing the annual tours of surfing championships like- the longboard championships, men’s and women’s championships, XXL Big Wave Awards to deciding all the professional surfers’ international ranking the WSL performs all the work.

There are two motives of the WSL- first, to make the surfing sport a perfect combination of adventure, humor, and sport. Second, to promote the professional surfers as the top-notch athletes throughout the world by providing rankings to them based on their performance in the WSL championships. 

Championships Conducted By The WSL

A man riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean

WSL World Tour:

The WSL world tour is the annual surfing championship which is quite similar to the world cup tournament of other sports. This WSL world tour championship consists of the men’s and women’s shortboard surfing championship series. After the elimination rounds and the final match, the winning players from both of the surfing tournament series are rewarded with the title of World Champions.

Longboard Surfing Championship:

Unlike the regular kind of surfing, longboard surfing is a relaxed and slow pace surfing style with riding on the nose of the surfing board. The WSL longboard surfing is quite similar to the WSL world tour surfing championship and after the end of this longboard championship, the ranking list is issued based on the points of the professional surfers in the men and women categories.

XXL Big Wave Surfing Championship:

Big wave surfing is the most challenging style of surfing in which highly experienced surfers tow into gigantic waves of more than 20 feet in height. The winning surfers are awarded WSL’s XXL Big Wave Award.

Rules And Judging Criteria

Most of the rules in surfing revolve around the right of way or simply interference. When a surfer is close to the region where the wave is breaking, he/she has the inside position. If a surfer takes off in front of a surfer who already has an inside position, the latter one receives a penalty.

If a surfer interferes with the ride of another surfer while snaking, he will be penalized.

There are 5 aspects that the judges consider while giving scores. 

  • Difficulty level
  • Speed and flow
  • Type of maneuver
  • Priority and points
  • Doping or penalty

Impact Of COVID-19 On WSL

Like several other sports championships including the 2020 Olympic games, COVID-19 ruined all the plannings of WSL events. Therefore, the WSL suspended all the surfing championship tours because of COVID-19. Additionally, in January 2021, WSL suspended the Big Wave Jaws Championship.


The WSL supports professional surfers with its several events and championships. All the rules and judging criteria of WSL are framed to maintain a real athletics spirit in surfers.

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