New Changes in Professional Surfing

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Board of Directors met this month and announced some changes to professional surfing effective 2010. Among the top changes include moving to a one-world rating system and decreasing the number of ASP World surfers on tour from 45 to 32. First, the rating system will make things easier for the ASP World Tour, plus ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) towards determining a surfers’ rating overall. By trimming back the field, according to Mick Fanning, ASP World Champion and the “Surfer’s Representative” on the Board, it will help allow the best surfers get the best waves and streamline the events. The ASP Board announced an increase in total prize money up from $3,400,000 for the 10-event series to $4,000,000 for the men’s tour. The ASP Women’s Tour will increase also, but only from $630,000 to $800,000 in 2010 still leaving a huge discrepancy between men and women’s prize money in the surf industry. In addition to the increase in overall prize money, an additional $100,000 bonus will be awarded to the ASP Champ at the end of the year for men, and a $30,000 bonus for the ASP Women’s Champ. The ASP will increase surfer benefits including full insurance coverage as well as a pension plan. Now this is something to celebrate not only for surfing, but for action sports in general, as many athletes still have a hard time getting insurance because of the former description of such athletes being labeled “extreme” (vs. a basketball player or soccer player who are not considered “extreme” athletes and have a better chance of getting...

New Head Coach for the USA Surf Team Announced

Surfing America, the National Governing Body (NGB) for Surfing in the United States, announced today that Ian Cairns has been appointed as Head Coach of the USA Surf Team.  Cairns appointment comes after the resignation of former Coach Joey Buran who held the position for the past two years.  Buran left the position in good standing to pursue a worldwide tour and ministry for his new documentary film Beyond the Dream: the Joey Buran Story. “Ian Cairns is a powerhouse coach and Surfing America is extremely fortunate to have someone of his caliber step into the role,” said Mike Gerard, Surfing America’s executive director.  “Not only does Ian bring a wealth of experience to the position, but he also has some incredible new ideas and concepts that will surely help lift the USA Team program to new heights.” In a surfing career of over 40 years, Ian Cairns twice represented Australia on their National Team and won 6 WCT level events, usually in the big waves of Hawaii.  Also, he was 2nd in the world in the first year of organized rankings in 1976. Changing gears, Ian moved onto event production and founded the Op Pro which led to founding the Association of Surfing Professionals in 1983. Following a sabbatical in Australia, he returned to the United States in 1991 and took over the reins of the PSAA leading to the launch of the US Open of Surfing and a resurgence of American surfing. For the past two years Ian Cairns has been focused primarily on coaching–and is working with many of the top American athletes on the Association...

Congratulations to Kelly Slater on his 9th ASP World Title

Quiksilver congratulates team-rider Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, Florida) on winning his ninth world surfing championship today in Mundaka, Spain. Dominating five of the season’s first eight contests, Slater accrued enough points to clinch the 2008 title with two scheduled Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Tour contests yet to be surfed. Slater’s ninth world championship comes 16 years after his first, in 1992, and is his third championship title following a three-year foray into semi-retirement. Slater’s win today solidifies what some say is his best season yet in an eighteen-year career, and reaffirms his unequivocal status as the most prolific surfer of all time. On what his surfing means to him and others Slater remarked, “The rewards have paid off for a lot of work and commitment to surfing my whole life. I’m stoked, I just try to do the best I can with what I’ve got.” After winning the 2008 season opener at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Slater built momentum over the next six contests, winning 32 of 35 heats surfed going into the Quiksilver Pro France last week, where he placed second. He arrived at Mundaka on Sunday as the presumptive 2008 World Champion, and needed only a ninth place finish to clinch a ninth world title. About his 2008 season Kelly said “I had a great year, and it’s nice to be rewarded like this. But besides that it felt like a great year. A lot of good things have happened up to this point on the tour.” Reflecting on winning the title again at Mundaka, Slater said “It’s freezing, but a lot of people showed...