World Surfing League: goodbye World Surf League

In an unprecedented move, the World Surf League (WSL) has announced the decision to modify the name of surfing's pro tour to World Surfing League (WSL).

The WSL says that the $5.5 million investment in the rebranding process will drastically increase the sport's popularity in landlocked countries, and will help boost the number of live online viewers of the events.

"It's a drastic change, but we had to do it. After undergoing market research, and with the results that we had in our hands, it was pretty obvious that we had to change our name to World Surfing League," Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner, told SurferToday.

"Our marketing team knows what they're doing. They've gone through all the semantic communications of our sport and concluded that there is a huge difference between the expressions 'surf' and 'surfing."

The WSL notes that the word "surfing" actually represents the official name of the sport, whereas (to) "surf" indicates the verb or the act of surfing.

"In an online world full of semantic subtleties, we know we've made the right decision. Thanks to the brilliant minds of our marketeers and their vision, we were already able to find a naming sponsor for the tour," adds Perrow.

The former pro surfer also told SurferToday that the rumors about a name change to World Surfer League in 2018 are not true. WSL wants the sport taking center stage, not the athlete himself.

"That's fake news. We would never accept that. Surfing is what drives us - it's the activity, the noun, the dream that attracts so many fans to the sport," concludes Kieren Perrow.

Gabriel Medina: he approved WSL's name change | Photo: WSL

Gabriel Medina, winner of the last world surfing title of the ASP World Tour era, is pleased with the rebranding decision.

"I come from a country of advertising and marketing specialists. And, although we call the sport "surfe" or "surf" depending on whether you're in Brazil or Portugal, I believe the revamp will have a huge impact on the evolution of the sport. So, yeah, I love it. Stoked for the World Surfing League," added Medina.

But there's more good news: because the acronym WSL continues the same, the organization was able to save $2.5 million in corporate image changes.

World Surfing League's website is already up and running via www.worldsurfingleague.com.

Learn how to write "surfing" in 35 different languages.