Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships…

…Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. To Crown 2023 Longboard World Champions

  • World Title Showdown Returns to Malibu’s Iconic First Point
  • Event window October Tuesday 3 – Friday 13 (forecast looks best near the end of the waiting period)
  • Longboard Championships’ Top 8, One-Day Format Explained
  • Kaleopa’a and Stewart Lead Rankings Coming Into Malibu
Pictured: The Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. holds an event window October 3 – 13, 2023. Credit: © WSL /  Lodin

MALIBU, Calif., USA (Thursday, September 28, 2023) – The Top 8 men and Top 8 women on the World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour have been decided and are ready to compete for the 2023 World Titles at the Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co.  World-class style and poise under pressure will be on full display during the one-day, winner-take-all event at the idyllic venue of First Point in Malibu, Calif. This is the fourth and final stop on the WSL Longboard Tour and holds a competition window from October 3 – 13, 2023.

“To see the world’s best longboarders squaring off in the one-day, winner-take-all format is going to be incredible to watch, and we can’t wait to watch it all go down,” said Will Hayen-Smith, WSL Senior Manager, Global Development Tours. “The competitors have raised the standard of competition at the world-class venues all season long. This year has elevated the WSL Longboard Tour to new heights, and we couldn’t ask for more than to finish it off with our World Champions being crowned at Malibu.”

Pictured: Kaimana Takayama (HAW) (green) and Taylor Jensen (USA) (red) ride back-to-back waves at First Point, Malibu, California. Credit: © WSL /  Hughes

About the Venue: First Point, Malibu in Southern California

Malibu’s First Point has long been regarded as the “perfect” wave, with its long, peeling, right-hand walls breaking over cobblestone reef and sand. The name itself is synonymous with the history and evolution of surf culture, making it the ultimate venue for showcasing traditional lines and nose rides with progressive approaches.

The best swell direction for Malibu is South, or South-West, generally created by large storms in the Southern Hemisphere, making October an ideal time for holding the competition.

Longboard Championships’ Top 8, One-Day Format Explained

The one-day, winner-take-all event is similar to the WSL Championship Tour Finals format. The competitors will be seeded into brackets determined by their rankings, with priority given to the higher seed in the opening round. Match 1 and Match 2 will be three-person heats, with the winner advancing to the next Match. Matches 3 and 4 will be one-on-one, with the winner advancing. The Title Match is a best-of-three format. The winners of the Title Match will be crowned the 2023 World Champions.

Kelis Kaleopa’a and Kaniela Stewart Lead the Rankings

Kaniela Stewart (HAW) had an incredible win in El Salvador that pushed him to the top of the men’s rankings heading into Malibu. Stewart is the 2022 World Title runner-up and will return to one of the world’s best point breaks ready for redemption and to fend off the world’s best.

“I’m super stoked on getting the No. 1 seed. It’s always the best seat to sit in right there,” said Stewart. “Being No. 1, you get to watch, to feel it as they fight to get to you, and I’m stoked on that. Me and Kai (Sallas) have been working on changing little things in the boards to get the perfect board for Malibu. Hopefully, we get some waves, and everyone will probably be surfing so well, so I can’t wait. Hopefully, I get that Title and bring it back home to Hawaii.”

Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) solidified herself as the No. 1 ranked woman with a runner-up finish in El Salvador. She also finished 2022 as the World Title runner-up and hopes to go all the way this year. Kaleopa’a’s impressive run through the 2023 season started with a second-consecutive win at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.

“Going into El Salvador, my only goal really was to secure the No. 1 seed heading into Malibu, and when I found out I had clinched that spot, I just felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders,” said Kaleopa’a. “Being the No. 1 seed, I actually don’t feel a lot of pressure. If you were any other seed, you only get one shot, you surf one heat, and you gotta surf at your absolute best because everyone will be on their game, and knowing that the final match is the best two out of three gives you more room to work with. ⁣I wouldn’t say the No. 1 spot is easier, I just think it’s rewarding to those who put in so much work over the season and deserve it.”

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Watch LIVE: Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. 
The Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. hold a competition window from October 3 – 13, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners.The Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. is proudly supported by Original Sprout, Tractor Beverage Co., 805 Beer, Pacifico, Cup Noodles, and Boxed Water. 

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC), home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.

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