A monumental opportunity awaits World Surf League (WSL) North America longboard competitors at the inaugural Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic beginning September 30 - October 1 in Pismo Beach, California.
This marks the first regional longboard event since 2019 which provides a stepping stone towards the WSL Longboard Tour (LT) where the World Champions are crowned.
Steven McLean (USA) took top honors in 2019 at the last North America WSL Longboard Tour qualifier. Credit: © WSL / Nic
The Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic is a joint North American and Hawaii regional qualifier for the WSL Longboard World Tour. This is part of the qualifying process that allows new talent an opportunity to compete on Tour. At the end of the season the surfers with the highest rankings from each of the seven regions will qualify for the Longboard World Tour.
Andy McKay of Surfing For Hope witnessed firsthand the electric atmosphere of the SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach and Morro Bay QS 1000, and wanted to channel that energy toward the style and grace of longboarding.
"Surfing For Hope has been hosting a local longboard contest in Pismo Beach for the past 10 years,” said McKay. “Hosting a WSL event in conjunction with our local event is going to be great for our local community and the California longboard community. Pismo Beach is such an excellent venue to host a longboard event. I think the surfers and fans will be really stoked and it is another great opportunity for Surfing For Hope to get the word out about our mission."
Surfing For Hope has been hosting events in Pismo Beach for over 11 years, including an annual longboard surf contest, monthly Pure Stoke Youth Camps and Cancer Survivor Surf Camps. The organization has also raised over $750,000 over the years to help families along the central coast of California in the fight against cancer and to help with cancer recovery.
Callie Summerlin (USA) utilized her Rincon Surf Fest runner-up to mix it up with the world's best to start the 2020 WSL Longboard Tour. Credit: © WSL / Nichols
2019 Rincon Surf Fest North America Longboard Championships victor Steve McLean (USA), runner-up Parker Sawyer (USA), and women's runner-up Callie Summerlin (USA) earned their way onto the 2020 WSL Longboard Tour at the last North America qualifier. Now, fast-forward three years and surfers such as Kaimana Takayama (USA) can use the Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic to stay among the world’s best as he currently sits outside the cutline for requalification.
The event will also feature the likes of 2015 WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA), World Title contenders Kevin Skarvna (USA), Tony Silvagni (USA), Cole Robbins (USA), Avalon Gall (USA), and a plethora of talents looking to make their mark here in Pismo Beach.
The Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic will run September 30 - October 1 at Pismo Beach, California.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com. About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world's largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
About Surfing For Hope
Surfing for Hope Foundation is a local 501c3 non-profit organization that was created to help ease the difficulty of cancer through the healing powers of surfing and the ocean life. Our original event, the Surfing for Hope Longboard Surf Contest and Benefit Auction in 2012, was inspired by cancer survivor 'Helmet' Bob Voglin as charity event to help return the support he received during his own struggle.
Partnering with his oncologist, Tom Spillane MD, Bob chose the Hearst Cancer Resource Center as the inaugural year beneficiary. This resource center at French Hospital is an invaluable link to the community organizations that aid current cancer patients on the central coast.
For more information, please visit SurfingForHope.org.