Surfing’s Olympic Debut Set to Start July 25

July 24th, 2021

World’s best surfers begin pursuit of Olympic medals at 7am local time

Duke Kahanamoku’s century-old dream comes to fruition

Where to Watch – Find your local broadcaster here

Portugal’s Frederico Morais withdraws due to health and safety protocols, will be replaced by Costa Rica’s Carlos Muñoz


Important links:

Download high resolution images here.

Where to watch Olympic Surfing LIVE here.

Access schedule and live results here.

ISA’s Tokyo 2020 event page here.


The first heats of Olympic Surfing competition are on schedule to start on July 25 at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, Japan. History will be made as surfers represent their nations and pursue medals on the Olympic stage for the first time ever.

The competition will commence at 7am local time with 5 heats each of Men’s Round 1 and Women’s Round 1 to be followed by Round 2, the first elimination round.

Broadcast across the world, the competition will be carried by the Olympics rightsholder in each country. To find out where you can watch surfing in your country, visit our page ‘Where to watch Olympic surfing.’

The schedule is as follows:

7am – 5 heats Men’s Round 1
10:20am – 5 heats Women’s Round 1
1:40pm – 2 heats Men’s Round 2
3pm – 2 heats Women’s Round 2

Find the full schedule live results here.

The start time of competition is subject to change as per conditions. The official forecast from Surfline has called for a building typhoon swell to arrive at Tsurigasaki beach on Sunday, set to provide waves in the 3-4 foot range growing to 4-6 feet by the evening.

“It feels surreal,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “When I was first elected president of the ISA, I made it my mission to achieve Duke’s dream and elevate surfing to the greatest stage in sport. That moment has finally arrived, as tomorrow the first waves will be ridden, and the Olympic dream will continue to burn stronger than ever within the competitors and fans from all around the globe.

“This is our chance to showcase the youth, love, and high performance of surfing to the biggest global audience that has ever witnessed the sport. We are ready to share the healing powers, love, and community of surfing to all corners of the globe – continuing our mission to make the world a better place through surfing.”

Israel’s Anat Lelior trains for her upcoming heats at Tsurigasaki beach. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Duke’s dream a reality

The blow of the horn to start the first heat will represent much more than Surfing’s Olympic debut. It is the realization of Duke Kahanamoku’s Olympic dream that was born over a century ago.

Duke, an Olympic medalist in Swimming known as the father of modern surfing, expressed his dream to see Surfing become an Olympic sport while atop the podium of the 1912 Stockholm Games.

After a 20+ year campaign led by ISA President Fernando Aguerre, in 2016 the IOC approved the inclusion of Surfing in the Olympic Games. Duke’s dream was fulfilled.

Duke’s passion for spreading the joy of surfing has come full circle, as the sport will be exposed to a new audience from all around the globe.

Brazil’s Italo Ferreira will look to add an Olympic Medal to his list of accomplishments, which already include an ISA World Surfing Games Gold Medal and WSL Championship Tour Title. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Costa Rica’s Carlos Muñoz replaces Portugal’s Frederico Morais

The ISA just received official confirmation from the Portuguese National Olympic Committee that Frederico Morais has withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Surfing competition due to a positive COVID-19 test.

His withdrawal is in line with the health and safety protocols set out by Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee, which applies to all attending athletes and officials.

According to Olympic Qualification System, the qualified place of Morais was reallocated to Costa Rica’s Carlos Muñoz. Muñoz was the next eligible surfer whose National Olympic Committee accepted the vacant slot. As per the Qualification System, replacement surfers must come from the event in which the withdrawn surfer had earned qualification, in this case the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games. Considering there were not any eligible European athletes on the Olympic entries long list or within the ISA Quality Control (top 30), the reallocation went to the highest placed eligible surfer, regardless of continent.

Muñoz is currently traveling to Tokyo in accordance with the health and safety protocols for the Games. Competition run times will not depend on the time of his arrival.

Portugal will be still represented at the surfing competition by Teresa Bonvalot and Yolanda Hopkins.

Carlos Muñoz has earned the slot vacated by the absence of Frederico Morais. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

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