ISA President Confirms Surfing at Olympics Will Take Place in the Ocean

It was revealed on Tuesday that the surfing competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in the ocean and not in a wave pool.

“With the support of the ISA, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organizers have determined that surfing will take place in the ocean in Tokyo, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba,” ISA president Fernando Aguerre told AFP on Tuesday.

This was the initial plan all along, but there was much speculation that the World Surf League (WSL) was attempting to woo the IOC and 2020 Summer Olympic organizers that their wave pool technology would give surfing the best platform to make its Olympic debut.

The WSL Founders’ Cup of Surfing was even seen as a pitch to the IOC for what an Olympic-sanctioned surf event in a wave pool could look like.

Aguerre continued to say, “The organizing committee has not indicated anything to us about the possibility of changing their plan, so we are planning for the chosen location in the ocean.”

Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba is about 37 miles southeast of Tokyo and has hosted professional surfing competitions. Albeit, Chiba in the summer is not the ideal season for surf. Which is why many within the WSL thought that the use of a wave pool might give the best impression of surfing on the world stage.

But alas, the 2020 Summer Olympics will have to rely on nature to provide the fireworks for the world’s best. The surfing event is scheduled to run for the entirety of the Olympics period (July 24 to August 9) giving it a greater chance to capitalize on any swell that shows up during that window.

Kevin Schulz at the Ichinomiya Chiba Open, which is taking place at Shida Point along the same stretch of beach near Tsurigasaki Beach. Photo: Courtesy of Kawana/WSL

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