The United Surfing League (USL) is a global digital water sports league that will make its debut in the fall of 2022. The format of the league is designed as a new model for a new generation of surfers and surf fans. The league will feature multiple surfing categories with individual prize purses for each category, fan voting and an all-category final series to crown the ultimate winners.
The purpose of this post is to provide a detailed overview of each aspect of the league and it's relationship to surfing.com' Wave Riders Club.
For those not yet familiar, surfing.com has launched a lifetime access membership club which uses NFT technology secured by Bitcoin for digital and physical access to member benefits. Benefits included at launch are a unique digital art collectible, premium and exclusive original content access via surfing.com and most relevant to this post, specific premium experiences as part of the USL and specific voting rights for USL entries. The Wave Riders Club members are founding members of the USL and will experience the best the USL has to offer first and in many cases exclusively. You can learn more about membership here waveriders.club
Surfing has evolved well beyond the traditional short and longboard board sports into a myriad of forms and onto waters outside the ocean. At surfing.com we strongly believe in "All boards, All waters All surfing" and have made it part of our mission to include all of these categories, their surfers and their fans an equal playing field in the United Surfing League. Currently we plan to feature:
Big Wave, Slab, Standup Paddle Board, Bodyboard, Foil, Kite, Wind Surf, Longboard, Wake Surf, Surf Pools and Adaptive.
The USL is putting on an all digital contest meaning that surfers submit video entries for their respective category and fans vote online for their favorite clips during the voting period. Once voting has closed the top three entries by fan vote count are awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for that category splitting the $50K prize purse 30K, 15K and 5K respectively. The top 3 from each category are then entered into an all category final which follows the same format to determine the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place USL Champions for that season. Finalists will split a $100k prize purse. Entries consist of a 1 minute surfing clip and a 3 minute surfer biographical video where the surfer has the opportunity to provide their backstory, context for the wave and any other information that will help promote their entry. This is the opportunity for creativity!
In addition to the board sport categories their will be a photography/videography category which will focus on the creator behind the lens. The surfer in the edit could be anonymous or the entry could be a partnership between creator and surfer either is permitted.
The exact format and requirements for the entries will be published by the United Surfing League on its website.
As previously mentioned, winners are selected by popular vote, however not all voters are equal. In order to add some qualitative balance to the fan voting equation we have structured three tiers of voters with specific voting rights.
Registered Voters - Anyone can register with the United Surfing League to vote on their favorite clip. Minimal requirements include human verification via captcha or similar and email verification. They can cast one vote per clip for as many clips as they like.
Wave Riders Club members - members have 2x the voting power per clip for as many clips as they like.
Wave Riders Club ultra-rare shark holders - the Wave Riders Club collection contains 10 ultra-rare sharks. 5 of them are in the mint pool and can be purchased by anyone at any time, the other 5 are being assigned to 5 pillars in the surf world across all the categories represented in the USL. These holders have 10x the voting power per clip for as many clips as they like.
World Surfing Champion in the 70’s, founder of the Association of Surfing Professionals in the 80’s, founder of the US Open of Surfing in the 90’s, 3 x World Champion Coach of the USA Surf Team in the 20’s, Ian Cairns has an unmatched resume in the surf world. Ian says, “I love all the different forms of surfing that have evolved since the IPS days in the mid-70's; Bodyboarding, Foiling, Standup Paddle, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing, Wake Surfing, Wave Pools are all producing incredible surfing at the very highest levels. It’s about time we gave these surfers some recognition, hence the genesis of the USL.” Ian holds a special “Kanga” WRC ultra-rare shark and will be managing the USL.
As a WEB3 forward venture, the USL will be rolling out features for competitors to monetize their entries by creating NFT's from entries and sharing the sale proceeds and ongoing royalties. This feature will debut with top 10 entries across all categories and eventually roll out to all entries as an on demand feature. Imagine owing the 1st place entry in your favorite category for the first season! Wave Riders Club members will have the first opportunity to purchase USL collectibles and can expect to participate in USL airdrops and NFT giveaways.
The USL will be producing a great deal of original content around the entries, voting trends, leaderboards, news, athlete spotlights and more as part of its coverage of the contest season. Wave Riders Club members will also have first look and sometimes only-look access to the Wave Riders Clubhouse (Surfing.com’s Video Podcast hosted in San Clemente, CA) and could be invited into the Clubhouse to chat with the hosts and USL athletes. Also, members will be notified first of a new entry or a new leader in your favorite category, or get to watch the ultra-rare shark holders vote together live! This is a taste of the kinds of access and experiences members will receive.
As the Wave Rider Club genesis collection and the United Surfing League are both debuting in the same year, members holding a genesis collection shark will be endowed with United Surfing League Founding Member status which will carry some additional special privileges which we will reveal in the future.
Keep a watch for this space as we delve deeper each week into the member benefits offered as part of the Wave Riders Club by surfing.com