World Surf League has quietly updated its logo

February 26, 2019 | Surfing
World Surf League: the new logo stirred controversy

The World Surf League (WSL) has updated its corporate identity.

The professional surfing tour has a new logo. WSL dropped the sun rays from its insignia and replaced the dark blue background by a black-and-white only design.

But there's also a controversial addition to the renewed logo. WSL decided to include what they consider to be the established year - 1976.

Fans didn't like it and are writing about it all over social media. The organization led by Sophie Goldschmidt is being criticized for the cultural appropriation of previous pro surfing circuits.

Here are some of the criticisms:

"WSL is claiming credit for all the good work prior to 2015."

"This is what happens when you use Fiverr for logo design."

"The last rays of Sunshine are vanishing from the WSL."

"I am all for simplification. But this is a mess. The shapes are all over the place, the corner radius' make it feel unbalanced and don't even get me started on the typeface."

"Looks cheap."

"Is this from a random logo generator?"

"The work experience kid has done a great job on these new logos."

1976: The Year of the IPS

In fact, the first multinational surfing tour was created in 1976 by Randy Rarick and Fred Hemmings, who would later create the Triple Crown of Surfing.

It was named International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Circuit and featured stages in Hawaii, Australia, and South Africa. The IPS World Circuit crowned male and female world champions between 1976 and 1983.

However, an internal revolt led by Ian Cairns resulted in the creation of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in 1983.

The iconic ASP World Tour was the most successful pro surfing circuit in the history of the sport, crowning world champions from 1984 until 2014.

ZoSea Media acquired the ASP in 2013, and the new owner decided to rebrand it. Two years later, the World Surf League was born, i.e., in 2015.

Discover the complete list of world surfing champions.