An all-important showdown in Pismo Beach, California awaits as the North America and Hawaii/Tahiti Nui WSL Longboard Tour qualifier just became that much more vital. The Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic will take over Pismo Beach beginning September 30 - October 1 and host a plethora of world-class longboarding talents as the Surfing For Hope Foundation's mission of helping cancer survivors takes a big step into the world of professional surfing.
But, now the stakes just got higher with a confirmed format for the 2023 season and how surfers will qualify.
Next season, the WSL Longboard Tour will comprise of the Top 8 ranked competitors following the Malibu Cuervo Classic Longboard Championship and remaining 10 will be determined by regional qualifiers (Asia Pacific, Australia, Africa, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America). This makes the Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic all the more important for North America and Hawaii's top competitors.
"It is important for the World Longboard Tours growth to create opportunities for new talent to capture a spot on tour," said Kirra Seale, Senior Manager of the WSL Longboard World Tour. "Through the introduction of fresh talent we are able to continue pushing our professional athletes to compete at their highest levels."
The likes of world-class surfers such as 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal, long-time WSL Longboard Tour competitors Lindsay Steinriede, Tony Silvagni, and Kevin Skvarna along with reoccurring threats Kaimana Takayama, Mason Schremmer, Sally Cohen, and Avalon Gall are all outside the cutline. But, Quintal, Silvagni, Skvarna, Takayama, Gall, Cohen and Schremmer are all set to back themselves up in Pismo Beach.
Beyond the Implications: Surfing For Hope
Surfing For Hope has cemented themselves on the West Coast and brings the power of surfing to some of those who need it most. Working with cancer survivors, Surfing For Hope Founder and Director Bob Voglin, along with fellow founders and his team, has provided an outlet for the pain they're experiencing on land via the ocean. Now, Surfing Hope looks to continue expanding that message to the world of professional surfing with their first-ever Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic - coinciding with their own local event in its 11th year.
"We're ever so excited that we could bring on a WSL longboard event," said Bob Voglin, Founder and Director of Surfing For Hope. "Our organization is all about bringing the joy and healing of surfing into medicine by sharing the positive energy of the ocean. We as surfers are so privileged and I myself I have been so lucky to grow up in the early times of surfing in the Pacific Palisades. So, to try and give that back as much as I can along with the help of some amazing people is something very special."
Partnering with his oncologist, Tom Spillane MD, Voglin 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. Over the years, Surfing For Hope has raised over $200,000 for the resource center. But, with the growing success of this event, and the incredible support of others, the Surfing For Hope Foundation has been able to expand and donate to additional programs to help support those affected by cancer.
A LIVE webcast will bring the Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic live to the world beginning September 30 - October 1.