ISA Marks 1 year to go until Olympic Games Debut, Announces Surfing Technical Officials for Tokyo 2020

July 25th, 2020

ISA and World Surf League collaborate on judging panel selection

Inclusion of Tory Gilkerson (USA) opens development pathway for more women judges, underlines ISA long-term commitment to gender equality.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) today marked the 1-year-to-go moment when Surfing is scheduled to take the stage at the Olympic Games for the first time.

Surfing will make its debut at Tokyo 2020 on July 25 2021 when the first competition window opens and the best male and female surfers from all continents enter the ocean and become the sport’s first Olympians.

Caroline Marks has provisionally qualified to represent Team USA one year from today in Surfing’s Olympic debut. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Celebrating the occasion today, the ISA, National Surfing Federations and leading athletes took to social media to express their excitement and anticipation for Olympic Surfing in 2021. The Games were postponed by one year due to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

While marking the occasion, the ISA is also pleased to announce today the technical officials that will judge and officiate the Surfing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The panel includes a Technical Director, Contest Director, and 11 judges – two head judges, seven judges, and two priority judges – that represent seven countries across four continents.

The judging panel will consist of the following individuals:

Technical Director:

Erik Krammer (USA)

Contest Director:

Marcos ‘Bukao’ Carneiro Esmanhoto (BRA)

Head Judges:

Richard Pierce (USA), Glen Elliot (AUS)


Pritamo Ahrendt (AUS), Tory Gilkerson (USA), Masato Kato (JPN), Dan Kosoof (NZL), Luis Pereira (BRA), Nuno Trigo (POR), Bruno Truch (FRA)

Priority Judges:

Ian Buchanan (NZL), Marcel Miranda (BRA)

The panel was approved by the ISA Executive Committee, with the nominations done in collaboration with the World Surf League (WSL), highlighting a cooperative effort between Surfing’s International Federation and professional tour. Three of the seven judges on the panel are currently working on the WSL Championship Tour.

The panel includes USA’s Tory Gilkerson, a reflection of the ISA’s commitment to promote and develop more women judges in Surfing. Gilkerson has consistently been evaluated as one of the highest performing judges at ISA World Championships in recent years, which was the foremost factor in her selection. The ISA is dedicated to building on Gilkerson’s success with targeted initiatives to further develop more women judges, also in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and national Surfing federations around the world.

ISA Longboard Gold Medalist Tory Gilkerson is included on the judging panel for Tokyo 2020. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

The selection criteria for the panel included an extensive review, analysis, and evaluation of all judges performances at both ISA and WSL events via objective metrics and reviews from Technical Director and head judges.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“A surfer knows that when you paddle hard and miss the first wave of a set, that is not the time to give up. That’s the time to turn around and paddle even harder to get in position for the next wave in that set. Surfing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 may have been delayed a year, but the global surfing community is ready to catch that next set wave. One year from today, Olympic Surfing will be underway and the best surfers from all continents will step up on the world’s greatest sporting stage and display Surfing’s unique, youthful values and energy.

“We are also very pleased to announce an outstanding panel of Olympic Surfing judges who represent the highest levels of expertise and international experience in our sport. With the naming of the technical officials as one of the ISA’s many responsibilities as the Olympic International Federation, we take great pride in the quality and reliability of our judging process. This is another piece of the puzzle that will ensure a historic debut for Surfing in the Games.

“The integrity, fairness, and professionalism of the judging process for Surfing’s debut at Tokyo 2020 is a great priority for the ISA. We have invested considerable time and effort, also in coordination with the WSL, to ensure that our judges meet the standards of excellence the Olympic Games require and deserve.”

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