After five years straight of crowning World Longboard Champions on the beautiful shores of Hainan Island in the South China Sea, the sport of surfing is rapidly growing in popularity in the country known as ‘The Red Dragon.'
Surf fans from China and around the globe are hotly anticipating the sixth consecutive WSL Jeep World Longboard Championship (WLC) to be held once again at the long reeling lefts of Riyue Bay in the Province of Wanning on Hainan Island.
Each year that the WSL returns to China with the best 34 best male and 18 female Longboarders, the growth in the sport of surfing is evident. Whether it is seeing more young surfers in the lineup, surfing on boards left by competitors the previous year or the quality of local wildcards entering the main event. Surfing is fast becoming a daily activity for those living by the beach and is developing from a fad into a lifestyle.
At a recent press conference in Beijing, WSL Australasia General Manager Steve Robertson spoke of the development of surfing in China.
"WSL has had a an extremely successful five years running sanctioned events in China and particularly at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island," Robertson said. "We have nurtured strong friendships with the local organisations and have also developed a great understanding of the waves in the region."
The event is an important one for the local economy not only for the two weeks of the contest, but for putting Wanning Province and Hainan on the map as a premiere destination for traveling surfers, something that the people of Wanning and the WSL our proud of.
"It's exciting to be preparing for this years WSL Jeep World Longboard Championships," continued Robertson. "We're certain it will be another fantastic event and we are particularly excited to increase our presence in China in the coming years."
With the final Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event for 2016 being completed just over a week ago in Japan, the worlds best Longboarders will have all of there focus set solely on the Jeep WLC.
The WSL is also excited that returning in 2016 as head of the commentary team is longboard surfing Icon and star of Bruce Brown's 1994 hit ‘The Endless Summer Two', Robert ‘Wingnut' Weaver. Wingnut will be joined by English longboard legend Sam Bleakley as the two will help bring the event live to the homes of surf-fans the world over.
The Jeep Asia Cup specialty event will run during the first weekend of the event with Asia's fast developing surfing region invited to send elite teams to decide the Asia Cup teams champion, who will walk away with not only bragging rights but also the major share of the $15,000 prize pool.
The 2016 Jeep World Longboard Championships hosted by Wanning Province waiting period runs from Dec 3-13 and will be broadcast live here at www.worldsurfleague.com. Visit the site or the WSL App in the lead up to the event for more information.