More than 70 of the world's best longboarders are currently winging their way to China right now, to compete in the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championships, which will launch next week on January 19-25.
Competitors from over 20 countries are set to enter the event at Riyue Bay – a lefthand point that's fabled amongst those with the longer board persuasion.
The women's competition is shaping up to be a showdown of world class talent, including Honolua Blomfield, Chloe Calmon and Rachael Tilly. Over on the men's side some of the headliners include three-time medalist, Ben Skinner from the UK, Tony Silvagni and Phil Rajzman.
According to the ISA: “The 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship comes during a push by the ISA to grow and develop Surfing, in all its disciplines, in non-traditional surfing nations around the globe, such as China.
The ISA first started to engage with China in 2010, running its first global event in the country in 2012, and beginning coaching and instructing courses in 2013, resulting in great progress in the growth of talent and support for the sport at a national level in the country.”
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said: "We are stoked to return to China, a country that we started to engage nearly a decade ago and has shown great promise and growth since then. Held at an excellent location and with the participation of the best athletes in the world, I have no doubt that the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship will be nothing short of amazing.
"As one of the biggest, mostly untapped markets, China has been part of the ISA's long-term strategy to grow the sport of Surfing in developing countries. Through our World Events, coaching and instructing courses, and initiatives through our National Federation in China, the sport has experienced an explosion of growth. It would be safe to say that not too far in the future there will be Chinese surfers making a splash in the sport at a world-class level, and perhaps we could even one day see a Chinese surfer compete in the Olympics on the world's greatest sporting stage."