THE World Surf League has evened the playing field and announced equal prize money for its male and female competitors across elite tour events, starting next year.
The announcement has received the support of two of the sport’s greatest male and female champions, with both six-time world champion Steph Gilmore and eleven-time men’s champ Kelly Slater backing the move.
Gilmore said while the prize money was great, the message meant even more.
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“My fellow women athletes and I are honoured by the confidence in us, and inspired to reward this decision with ever higher levels of surfing,” she said.
Slater said becoming the first US-based global sports league with equal prize money would set a powerful precedent.
“The women on the tour deserve this change,” he said. “The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same.”
Pay parity will be covered across next season’s championship, longboard, junior and big wave tours, with the WSL planning to extend equal prize money to other second-tier events “as soon as possible”.