So, surfing has FINALLY, after long last, made its way onto the Olympic stage realising the long held dream of millions of surfers from across the globe, including the surfing legend himself: Duke Kahanamoku. Tokyo 2020 might seem like a long time away but we thought that the time was right to bring you all the information that you need; might want; or otherwise are interested to know!
When was surfing introduced into the Olympic Games?
The decision was made in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, at the 129th meeting of the IOC (International Olympic Committee). It was unanimously decided that surfing should indeed be included, with all 90 members of the committee agreeing without complaint. Also included in the 2020 games (as new sports) were climbing, karate, skateboarding and baseball.
Where will the games be held?
The surfing competition itself will be held – fantastically – in the ocean, and not in an artificial arena/wave pool as many believed would be the case. The exact stretch of ocean? Shidashita beach, also known as “Shida”. This contest area is located around 40 miles from Tokyo, in Chiba. We personally think that the wave pools in Japan may be used as an emergency backup however, should the weather not play ball, or should typhoon season live up to its unruly reputation…
How good are the waves at Shidashita beach?
In a nutshell? Really good. Largely considered to be one of (if not) the best surfing locations in Tokyo, Shida has a lively beachbreak, where the waves are prone to barrelling. The beach has a collection of jetties which direct the sand into consistent movement patterns crafting numerous sandbars. The decision to host the games here was of course not taken without great consideration, research, deliberation and discussion. Years and years of data were also analysed, specialist teams consulted and more besides! The outcome? Shida had the best and most consistent waves, with a potential and steady increase during the proposed competition dates!
How many surfers will compete in the Olympics?
As far as we know, and we do not expect this figure to now change, there will be 40 contestants total, 20 men and 20 women. All of these contestants will be on shortboards.
How is the qualification going to work?
Qualification for Olympic surfing will be interesting, and should yield a fascinating score of participants. From the Championship tour, 18 will be selected. 22 will be included from the 2019/2020 ISA world surfing games. A slot will be given to the winner of the Pan-Am games, and the final two slots will be afforded to Japan, being the hose nation.
We don’t know about you, but we could not be more excited for Tokyo 2020. In the meantime, whether you are an experienced surfer or are new to the sport, check out our blog on the U.K’s best spots and dive into your new favourite sport! Do you need some new gear? Or currently looking to upgrade your surfing gear for the summer season? Have a browse of our extensive wetsuit collection or grab yourself a brand new board!