Surfing England English Nationals – British Longboard Union – Longboard Update
For the 2023 competition season, English longboard titles are on hold and Surfing England will be supporting the British Longboard Union (BLU) events and encouraging all longboarders to compete in the series.
As surfing establishes itself as an Olympic sport, the International Surfing Association (ISA) are moving their World Surfing Championships to run under National Olympic Committee (NOC) rules, which require a British Team selected and managed by British Surfing rather than a Team England, managed by Surfing England.
With this in mind, when BLU and Surfing England identified a clash between the English National Championships and one of the BLU series events, we started discussion about the best way forward for the surfers. A busy events calendar and limited number of weekends with beach owner permissions and favourable tides means moving one of the event dates isn’t possible. With the context of needing a British Team for the World Longboarding Games (dates / location tbc), we decided that supporting the BLU series would be in the best interest of Longboarding, and so have taken the tough decision to remove Longboarding from this year’s English National Championships.
The BLU run fantastic events and have a 3-competition series in the calendar for 2023. Over the last few years, the BLU have developed their judges, brought in live scoring, grown the number of surfers, added new divisions and created a great competitive scene.
Surfing England will be continuing to work with and supporting the ongoing evolution at BLU and we encourage all our longboarders to engage with the tour. Where we can send Team England longboarders to competitions, for example EuroSurf, we will continue to do so, and BLU tour performance will be a consideration in our selection process.
We have some of the world’s best longboarders in England with Ben Skinner a World Title contender, Emily Currie multiple British champion and amazing junior surfers like Arthur Randell and Lola Bleakley current European Gold and Silver medallists respectively. We’re fully committed to supporting the continued growth and competitive success of English longboarding and have longboarders embedded into our junior talent pathway. We’ll keep working closely with the BLU and longboarding community as we navigate forward with the best intentions for longboarders and supporting their international competitive success.
British Surfing are developing their selection criteria for the ISA World Longboard Games, and we are actively encouraging them to engage with surfers, BLU and the home nations in that process.
It is also worth a note that Boardmasters Longboard Pro is currently tentative, to be held 11th – 13th August at Fistral as part of the Boardmasters festival. This would be a key event to enter for all longboarders looking to compete at higher level in the future.
We’ll keep sharing information as we get it, and our door is always open to anyone who wants to discuss our plans. We look forward to an exciting year for English and British Longboarding.
To find out more about BLU and upcoming events, click here.