South African team arrives in Biarritz France for the 2019 ISA World Longboard Championships

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Monday, 27th May 2019


South African team arrives in Biarritz France for the 2019 ISA World Longboard Championships

The world’s best longboarders are in Biarritz, France to compete the 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championships (WLSC)  which will take place at this iconic venue from May 26 – June 2.

Among the record -breaking 104 athletes from 32 countries are South African representatives Thomas and Tarryn King, Crystal Hulett and Alfonso Pieters.

The 2019 edition of the event is the biggest to date having exceeded the 71 surfers and 22 countries that were at the 2018 WLSC in Wanning, China by a significant margin.

In an ongoing effort to promote women’s participation across all disciplines of Surfing, the ISA has made each of its World Championship Series gender equal, offering equal slots for men and women on each team.

In 2018 a record number of women competed in the World Longboard Championships and the 2019 edition has attracted 46 women which are almost double the 2018 competitors.

The ISA World Championship will be streamed live from May 26 – June. The official event website for results, photos, videos and news about the competition will be posted on 

The live webcast will be broadcast on the ISA’s Facebook page, International Surfing Association.

The venue, Côte des Basques, has played a historic role in European Surfing as it was the first place that the sport was practiced on the continent in 1957. Since then, France’s Basque Country, with Biarritz at its centre, has played a key role in the development of European surfing, hosting global events and producing world-class athletes.

Longboard was first held as an ISA medal division at the 1988 ISA World Surfing Championships (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 where South African Simone Robb was crowned Women’s World Champion.  South African Matthew Moir won two Men’s Longboard titles while the division was part of the World Games.

2019 will mark the third time the global event will run as a stand-alone championship and the contest will crown the first ISA Longboard World Champions in France since the 1992 World Surfing Championships in Lacanau.

The 2018 ISA Men’s and Women’s World Champions will both return to the event, however, in different capacities.

Kai Sallas, who won the Men’s Gold Medal in 2018 for Team Hawaii, will return to compete for Team USA. Due to the event’s qualification status for the 2019 Lima Pan Am Games and 2019 ANOC World Beach Games, only nations with National Olympic Committees may compete.

Tori Gilkerson, who won the Women’s Gold Medal on Team USA in 2018, will participate, not on the water, but this time as a judge, bringing her expertise in the discipline to the ISA’s international judging panel.

The 2019 WLSC holds a special status as a qualifier for Surfing’s debut in two Olympic Movement events.

For the surfers of the Americas, a qualification spot for the top finishing man and woman is at stake for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, which will display the high performance and grace of longboard in the world’s second largest multisport event after the Olympics.

The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #ISAWLSC.

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


The Championships will get under way tomorrow (Saturday May 25) at 10am with the official press conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel

The Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations will take place from 10am at Place St Eugenie, Biarritz on Sunday May 26 and from Monday May 27 to June 2 the surfing will take place at Côte des Basques 

The 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship has been organized in conjunction by the International Surfing Association and the French Surfing Federation (FFS). 

Surfing South Africa is the national body for all surfing disciplines in South Africa and is recognised as such by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee of South Africa (SASCOC), Surfing South Africa is also a member of the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA)


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