Erik Logan: the CEO of WSL trusts and backs up his judging panel | Photo: WSL

Erik Logan, CEO of the World Surf League (WSL), has addressed concerns raised by a group of surfers, including professional athlete Gabriel Medina, regarding the perceived lack of fairness in judging surf competitions.

The reaction comes in the wake of the recent Championship Tour event at the Surf Ranch, which has sparked a contentious conversation within the community.

"In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats, as a direct result of those statements," Logan wrote.

He emphasized the importance of recognizing the repercussions of words, expressing his devastation at the events that transpired.

"Those things should never happen in our sport or any sport," the executive stated, calling on the WSL community to reject all forms of harassment and intimidation.

On the issue of judging, Logan was resolute in rejecting the allegations of unfairness.

"We completely reject the suggestion that the judging of our competitions is in any way unfair or biased. These claims are not supported by any evidence," he asserted.

"Surfers Know the Criteria"

The CEO detailed two key facets of WSL's judging process to support his stance.

Firstly, he pointed out that judging criteria are shared with the athletes prior to each competition. For the Surf Ranch Pro, these materials were provided on May 20th.

Logan emphasized that none of the athletes who voiced their grievances took the opportunity to ask questions about the criteria at the time.

Secondly, Logan highlighted a policy that allows any athlete to review the scoring of any wave in collaboration with the judges to understand the details of their scoring.

"This process has been in place for a number of years and is the direct result of working with the surfers to bring more transparency to the judging process," he said.

The WSL CEO also rebuffed the notion that progression and variety are not considered in judging, affirming that athletes at the Surf Ranch Pro were scored based on these elements.

"It is simply incorrect to suggest these are not taken into account in the judging criteria," he stated.

While acknowledging that surfing is a subjective and ever-evolving sport, Logan maintained the importance of respecting the integrity of the judges and the sport itself.

"However, it is unacceptable for any athlete to question the integrity of our judges who, like our surfers, are elite professionals," he noted, adding that "no one person or group of people are above the integrity of the sport."

The CEO's statements underscore the ongoing commitment of the WSL to transparency, fairness, and respect within the surfing community.

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