In an incredible moment, this morning the World Surf League announced that from 2019 onwards, they will award equal prize money to male and female surfers for every WSL event.
“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,” say the WSL.
WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt added, “This is a huge step forward in our long-planned strategy to elevate women’s surfing and we are thrilled to make this commitment. 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. 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.”
The announcement is backed up with a number of other initiatives to highlight the WSL’s commitment to women’s surfing:
- A global marketing campaign to highlight the women’s tour with a goal of increasing 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.
It’s been a long time coming and there have been some noticeable hurdles along the way, but this is an incredible moment not just for women’s surfing but for women’s sport globally.
The announcement was made with the release of the 2019 tour schedule that sees the women competing at ten locations around the world.
2019 Women’s Championship Tour Schedule:
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