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The WSL announces equal prize money

The WSL announces equal prize money

The World Surf League (WSL) today announced that it will award equal prize money to male and female athletes for every WSL-controlled event in the 2019 season and beyond, becoming the first and only US based global sports league, and among the first internationally, to achieve prize money equality. The WSL is proud of its commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone.

This is a huge step forward in our long-planned strategy to elevate women’s surfing and we are thrilled to make this commitment as we reveal our new 2019 schedule. This is the latest in a series of actions the League has undertaken to showcase our female athletes, from competing on the same quality waves as the men, to better locations, and increased investment and support.

This change is simply the right thing to do for the WSL and we would like to thank the many advocates who have worked for decades to help advance women’s surfing. We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all walks of life, starting on the waves, and we feel very lucky to have women on our tour who are highly talented, iconic role models, and more than deserve this recognition as they stand alongside our extraordinary male athletes.

Sophie Goldschmidt

WSL CEO

Photo: Stephanie Gilmore / WSL / Cestari

This is incredible, and I am thrilled. The prize money is fantastic, but the message means even more. From the moment current ownership became involved, the situation for the women surfers has been transformed for the better in every way. We have been so appreciative, but this takes it to another level. I hope this serves as a model for other sports, global organizations and society as a whole. My fellow women athletes and I are honored by the confidence in us, and inspired to reward this decision with ever higher levels of surfing.

Stephanie Gilmore

Six-time World Champion

The women on the tour deserve this change. I’m so proud that surfing is choosing to lead sports in equality and fairness. The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same. Surfing has always been a pioneering sport, and this serves as an example of that.

Kelly Slater

Holder of 11 World Championships and 55 Championship tour event victories

Photo: Tyler Wright / WSL / Dunbar

The WSL continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports leagues globally, continually expanding its reach and fan base. WSL content and live coverage is now digitally available in every market and over 100 linear broadcasters now cover its events, including this week’s groundbreaking competition at the human-made wave at Surf Ranch. Surfing has also been added to the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, introducing the sport to new audiences.

Photo: Carissa Moore / WSL / Cestari

In further support of its commitment to women’s surfing, today the WSL also announces three initiatives which will launch in 2019:

  • A global marketing campaign to highlight the women’s tour as well as increase event viewership and fan engagement.
  • A local community engagement program for girls around the world, featuring instructional clinics with WSL athletes at each women’s Championship Tour stop to inspire the next generation to embrace surfing.
  • A monthly content series about the pioneering women of surfing, celebrating them across WSL channels, starting next week with seven-time World Champion Layne Beachley.

2019 championship tour schedule

Men’s:
Gold Coast Men’s Pro: April 3 – 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 – 27, 2019
Bali Men’s Pro: May 13 – 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 – June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 – 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 – 22, 2019
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o: August 21 – September 1, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 – 22, 2019
France Men’s Pro: October 3 – 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 – 28, 2019
Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 – 20, 2019

Women’s:
Gold Coast Women’s Pro: April 3 – 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 – 27, 2019
Bali Women’s Pro: May 13 – 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 – June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 – 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 – 22, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 – 22, 2019
France Women’s Pro: October 3 – 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 – 28, 2019
Hawaii Women’s Pro: November 25 – December 7, 2019

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