Chippa Wilson: he was invited for the inaugural Air Invitational | Photo: WSL

The World Surf League (WSL) announced the launch of the Air Invitational.

The new aerial surfing contest will be held during the 2018 Quiksilver Pro France. Australian aerialist Josh Kerr is taking the role of event director.

The Air Invitational will feature the 18 best aerial surfers on the planet and will include pro athletes and free wave riders.

Albee Layer, Mikey Wright, Filipe Toledo, and Chippa Wilson have already been confirmed, but surf fans will have the opportunity to pick some of the names that will compete in the inaugural edition.

"My early career and surf inspirations were all about these air events, and the guys pushing the progression of our sport. It will be special to help bring the air events back at the highest level of surfing," explained Kerr.

The inaugural Air Invitational hopes to showcase and reward surfers who can put out a skate-influenced style punctuated by creativity, technicality, and innovation in the aerial maneuvers.

The WSL is planning an early preview of the Air Invitational during the 2018 Surf Ranch Pro, in Lemoore, California, on September 6. Wilson and Layer will join two Championship Tour (CT) surfers in a sunset air exhibition.

Is WSL testing a potential new Air Tour, similar to the Big Wave Tour and the Longboard Tour? Only time will tell.