La Jolla, California, May 10, 2018 – The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce that the surf brand, VISSLA, has renewed its multi-year partnership with the ISA as the Title Sponsor of the World Junior Surfing Championship for three more years through 2020.
As the Title Sponsor of the event since 2014, VISSLA has committed to continuing their role as the lead supporter of the World Championship, once more highlighting their dedication to the ISA mission and to developing the future generation of surfers ahead of the sport’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
In addition to VISSLA renewing their role in the event, the ISA has today announced that Huntington Beach, California, will host the 2018 edition from October 27 to November 4.
The VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the largest junior Surfing competition in the world, with the 2017 edition in Hyuga, Japan hosting 306 surfers from a record-breaking 41 nations across all continents of the globe. Previous editions of the event were held in Azores, Portugal (2016), Oceanside, California, USA, (2015) and Salinas, Ecuador (2014).
The 2018 event will make history as the first edition to feature gender equality, offering equal slots for boys and girls on each team. Each country will be able to field up to three boys and three girls in U-16 and U-18 Divisions – a maximum of twelve athletes per team – highlighting the ISA’s dedication to promoting gender equality across all disciplines of Surfing.
Huntington Beach, host to numerous elite Surfing competitions, such as the Vans US Open of Surfing, will host an ISA World Championship for the first time in over a decade. The 2018 VISSLA ISA World Juniors will be the fifth ISA Global Event held in California’s ‘Surf City USA’ after the city hosted three editions of the ISA World Surfing Games in 2006, 1996, and 1984 as well as the ISA World Juniors in 2005.
The 1996 edition of the ISA World Surfing Games in Huntington Beach was considered a landmark moment for Surfing as a record-breaking 513 athletes across the Shortboard, Longboard, Junior, and Bodyboard Divisions came from around the world to compete. Many future legends of the sport competed, such as Taylor Knox, Sofia Mulanovich, Andy and Bruce Irons, Damien Hobgood, and Taj Burrow.
Since the inception of the Junior Division in the ISA, the event has been a glimpse into who will become the future stars of the sport. Legendary surfer Tom Curren made history and jump-started his career as the first ISA Junior Champion in 1980. Past and current stars followed in his footsteps, including Gabriel Medina, Julian Wilson, Jordy Smith, Filipe Toledo, Owen Wright, Leonardo Fioravanti, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Laura Enever, Tatiana Weston-Webb, and Tyler Wright.
Initially held as a division in the ISA World Surfing Games, the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship became a standalone event in 2003 and has been held annually ever since.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“We look forward to working with Vissla and their team to build on the amazing foundation they have helped us create in the ISA World Juniors. Together we are shaping the future generation of Surfing by providing a platform for the world’s best to put their talent on display in competition.
“We are also super stoked to return to Surf City USA and to build on the great legacy of historic surf events that have been held in this city. We are especially grateful to Visit Huntington Beach for their support and partnership which has made this hosting arrangement possible. The young surfers that will discover Huntington Beach are aspiring Olympians and throughout the week of competition in this iconic Southern California surf location we will certainly see the top surfers emerge and assert themselves as contenders to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
President of VISSLA, Paul Naude, said:
“We are excited to continue supporting the biggest platform for junior Surfing to ensure an innovative and bright future for the sport. The creative progression, individual uniqueness, and team camaraderie that we have witnessed at this World Championship over the years are a perfect fit for VISSLA’s mission and brand identity. We look forward to watching these promising, young surfers put it all on the line in pursuit of Gold Medals and start their paths towards Surfing’s debut in Tokyo 2020.”
President & CEO of Visit Huntington Beach, Kelly Miller, said:
“As the official destination marketing organization for the city, Visit Huntington Beach is proud to partner with the city in hosting an elite Surfing event that will attract surfers and fans from all corners of the globe. We look forward to showcasing the hospitality, quality waves, and California surf culture that we have to offer to a global audience and to all the visiting delegations from around the world.”