LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA (Wednesday, July 27, 2022) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the historic appointment of two women to run the WSL Longboard Tour: Kirra Seale will oversee the Longboard Tour, and Tory Gilkerson will be the Longboard Head Judge.
The announcement comes one week before the second stop on the WSL Longboard Tour, the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Surf Festival, which holds a competition window from August 3 - 7, 2022.
“I am proud to welcome two great leaders to the forefront of longboarding in Kirra Seale as the Senior Manager of the Longboard Tour and Tory Gilkerson as Longboard Head Judge,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “This is an exciting chapter for longboarding, and I am confident in these two women at the helm. I look forward to working with Tory and Kirra to continue to develop and grow WSL’s Longboard Tour and competitive opportunities for surfers.” In the role of Senior Manager of the Longboard Tour, Seale will oversee and be responsible for the execution of the WSL Longboard Tour. Growing up on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, Seale started surfing at a young age and advanced quickly into competition.
Seale has been a strong competitor in the longboard community and has competed on the WSL Longboard Tour for the past six years.
Currently ranked No. 9, Kirra will step away from competing to lead the World Longboard Tour for the WSL.
Through her experience competing, Seale has developed a comprehensive understanding of competitive longboarding and established a strong relationship with the competitors. “I am coming into this role with a unique perspective because I competed on the Longboard Tour for the past several years,” said Seale. “I understand the competition as a competitor, but I also understand what is required from a business perspective for the WSL Longboard Tour to thrive. I am excited about my work to support longboarding and develop this competitive platform. Surfing is my passion and longboarding is my heart. This is not just a job. This is what I love.”
2016 Longboard World Champion and Championship Tour Judge, Tory Gilkerson, has been appointed Longboard Head Judge. Photo: WSL
As Longboard Head Judge, Tory Gilkerson will oversee the judging and credibility of all Longboard Tour competitions and World Titles.
Gilkerson was born and raised in San Clemente, Calif., where she fell in love with surfing at a young age. She qualified for the WSL Longboard Tour in 2012 and won the WSL Longboard World Title in 2016 and an ISA title in 2018.
During her years of competing, Gilkerson became interested in judging across surfing disciplines and worked her way up the ladder, starting with regional competitions to judging on the WSL Qualifying Series around the world.
Over the past two years, Gilkerson has proven herself as a well-respected and experienced judge, judging for the WSL Championship Tour, Challenger Series, and Longboard Tour, as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where surfing made its Olympic debut. Gilkerson is based in NSW, Australia, and although a decorated longboarder, enjoys surfing a variety of shapes and breaks.
“I am excited to bring my experience as a CT-level judge and top-level longboarder to the Head Judge position,” said Gilkerson. “My priority in this role is to provide clear and fair judging to the surfers. I plan to make traditional longboarding criteria understandable and more transparent while working with the panel to promote the style of surfing that demonstrates the key elements of the criteria and the overall vision of traditional longboarding. I also hope to create a scale that encourages the surfers to push the level of their surfing and further advance the sport.”
About the 2022 Longboard Tour
For 2022, three competitions make up the WSL Longboard Tour with events running in Manly, Australia, Huntington Beach, California, and Malibu California.
The first two events of the season, the GWM Sydney Surf Pro and Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival will be worth 5,000 points each, while the final event in Malibu, Cuervo Classic Longboard Championship, will have 10,000 points on offer.
The World Titles will be determined by the highest points in the best two of three competitions.
The competition will host 20 surfers for the men's division and 20 surfers for the women's division. Each field will comprise the Top 10 from the 2021 rankings, seven surfers selected from the regions, one WSL wildcard, and two event wildcards.
Next Stop: Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival
The next stop on the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour will be the Vans Duct Tape Invitational from August 3 - 7, 2022.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.