A new horizon is emerging for the surf sector, since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) assembly decided to add it to the program of Tokyo 2020, on August, the 3rd.
It’s a fact: surfing has grown exponentially these last years. Today, it’s in vogue. The number of surfcamps has increased and a new market was even created, that of artificial waves, as more and more people are interested in this leisure. The image of a sport designed for the “lone wolves”, the “hippies” – words that do not reflect the truth by the way – is disappearing over time, for the benefit of studies revealing that it is one of the sports the most complete and beneficial for health! Indeed, making the moves requires so much concentration that during a session, the entire negative that you had in your mind is evacuated and you only think about the water and the perfect wave that you’ll catch!
Surfing may undoubtedly be even more popular with it becoming an Olympic sport. With the emergence of sponsors and the greater presence of the media (television, press …), surfing is likely to become a big business, and as a consequence, some virgin and somewhat mystical beaches will become crowded spots.
It seems that the surfing community is divided: there are people for and against. Among the latest we can find Kelly Slater, who gives priority to the WSL because it is a competition which really determines the champion, able to surf all the types and sizes of waves that it includes. The Olympic competition, on its side, will be limited to specific conditions, and the contenders will be selected once we know the type of wave that will be in Tokyo. Don’t miss this video of Slater giving his opinion:
For the moment, little is known about Tokyo 2020, but the idea that an artificial wave that gives the gold medal in three years is not impossible. Indeed, with a lake the competition, fixed at a defined and non-modifiable date, will not be exposed to the uncertainty of the sea. The objective is to make surfing an Olympic discipline on the long run.
Against Slater, we can find Carlos Garcia, the president of the Spanish Surf Federation, who is favourable towards this new ‘Olympic’ turn that the surf sector takes. He’s even part of those who think that in a few years, Spain will play a big role in the Olympic story thanks to its promising surfers. The Canarian Yael Peña, winner of the Junior European Championship, in 2016 in Agadir, is one of them. For many people, he’s still the boy of the Coca Cola ad. But he’s grown up and only needs now to try surf the Quemao. Here is a little video showing what he can do!