- WSL / Bielmann

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii (Friday, January 27, 2023) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced the WSL Championship Tour (CT) World Title Trophy will now be known as the Duke Kahanamoku WSL Champions' Trophy. Naming the trophy in honor of the universally recognized forefather of modern surfing furthers the WSL's dedication to recognizing surfing's rich heritage while also promoting progression, innovation, and performance at the highest levels. This title naming is in partnership with the Kahanamoku family and Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

Known as "The Duke," Duke Kahanamoku is Hawaii's most iconic waterman, Olympic athlete, and ambassador of aloha. Throughout his lifetime of competitive watersports, Duke advocated for the advancement of surfing and its entrance into the Olympics, which was finally achieved in 2021. He gave his life to surfing and touched the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world. His remarkable feats, conducted with great sportsmanship and strength of character, continue to inspire people to this day and will be forever commemorated through this trophy.

"In the spirit of inspiration and our deep connection to Hawaii, and through conversations with the Kahanamoku family, I'm beyond honored to announce that the World Title trophies moving forward will officially be named the Duke Kahanamoku WSL Champions' Trophy," said WSL CEO, Erik Logan.

"I grew up surfing Waikiki and passing the Duke statue everyday, but it wasn't until recently I learned more about his story, who he was as a person, what he achieved, and how he lived his life, which is so inspiring," said five-time World Champion Carissa Moore. "I feel like everyone should know from a young age the story of Duke."

"I think Duke represents the root of surfing at its core," said two-time World Champion John John Florence. "Coming from Hawaii and knowing the history of Duke and what he did bringing surfing around the world, he's really turned surfing into an amazing sport."

"Duke was certainly the greatest waterman of Hawaii, the father of international surfing, and the true ambassador of Aloha, " said Bill Pratt, Co-Founder of the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame. "He took surfing and the spirit of surfing around the world. I am proud to be honoring him by renewing the Championship Trophy name to the Duke Kahanamoku WSL Champions' Trophy."

In addition to Duke's legacy, the physical trophy itself has a story to tell. It is made up of grains of sand from the local beaches of the first 40 years of World Champions, forged together with steel, and mounted on a Koa wood base. Koa wood is one of the first materials used to craft surfboards.

The first-ever Duke Kahanamoku WSL Champions' Trophy will be awarded to the winners of the 2023 Championship Tour at the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles. The competition to win this trophy kicks off this weekend at the Billabong Pro Pipeline in Hawaii, where surfers will battle for ranking points to clinch their spot in the WSL CT Finals.

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