On a trip to Costa Rica, McKay met Brian Robbins, the WSL’s tour director, who told him how QS events come to be: Event organizers create events, get funding and assume the financial risk, and the WSL can choose to sanction it as a QS if it wants.
Only six of those are in the mainland U. S. , just one more than will be held on Oahu, an island the same size as Santa Cruz County. “It’s criminal that there are only a few events here,” says Andy McKay, a former competitive surfer who now owns Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach.
The WSL would like to see more low-level events in California, too. “I’d love to see a couple more, just on the basis that there’s a lot of surfers in California, and every time we put on an event, it’s full,” says Robbins.
For his part, McKay believes holding more QS events would mean more young Californians would compete on the QS, and eventually the CT. “Looking at California surfers alone, I can’t help but think that’s true,” he says.
Getting that kind of funding is easier in Australia, where competitive surfing is more of a national pastime, than the U. S. , says Brian Robbins, the WSL tour manager. “Australia is fortunate to be the beneficiary of some government funding, and surfing is a bigger sport than in the U. S.
A 3,000-point event can cost $150,000, and a 10,000-point event runs about $500,000. “They bring the judges and the scoring system and you do everything else,” McKay says, including renting scaffolding, feeding and housing judges and more.
Read more here: The Inertia