The Association of Surfing Professional, the ASP or ASP World Tour is the governing body of professional surfing. The idea of contest surfing was introduced to surfing in the 1960's during the "Gidget Boom." At this time there was no surf industry", no sponsorship, no prize money. It was done locally for love of surfing & respect. It was a chance for local dudes and chics to show their skills against one another from time to time. It was a true amateur era.
As the carefree 60's went by the 70's came in as a period of structure for competitive surfing. Hawaii, the sport's Mecca, was well along the way to professional surfing with many yearly corporate sponsored events offering up to $10,000 is prize money. Many surfers at the time started to supplement their prize earnings with endorsement contracts offered by the established California surf industry.
Events began springing up all over the globe by the mid-70's. A group contests were strung together in 1976 by the ISP the first governing body of the sport. Peter Townend form Australia was the first world champion.
Here is a list of all the world champions from 1976-Present:
The 1990's took a new direction with introducing contests in prime surf locations & splitting into a two tier system of rankings. The contests brought onto the tour were in both prime surf locations & during peak conditions. This a complete change from the 1980's system of having contests in large metropolitan locations during summer flat months. The idea behind this mentality was getting spectators on the beach. The new additions were in G-Land in Indonesia, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, Mundaka in Spain, Tavarua in Fiji, & Trestles in California. The idea behind this was to get the world's best surfers charging in the world's best waves.
The second big introduction during the 1990's was the splitting of the tour into a two tier system. The top 44 broke off into the World Championship Tour (WCT). At the end of each season the lowest 16 are dropped and replaced with the top 16 of the World Qualifying Series (WQS). The WQS Mens division has 850 surfers. Some will make into the WCT most will not. The ASP Official Rule Book
is updated every year. The
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