The next phase of the World Surf League’s (WSL) adoption of artificial wave technology (aka wave pools) for the use of competition has been unveiled today. In a press release this morning, the WSL announced the creation of the Founders’ Cup of Surfing.

A team-oriented event scheduled for May 5-6, 2018, it will pit teams from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Europe and the rest of the world against one another at the Surf Ranch wave pool in Lemoore, California. Teams will consist of three male surfers and two female surfers from the Championship Tour (CT). And the best part? It’s going to be a ticketed event that is open to the public.

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said in a press release, “The Founders' Cup of Surfing will be the organization's first public event at the facility and we're very excited to showcase the wave and the world's best surfers through this unique team format in May.”

While the Surf Ranch Open is currently on the official CT schedule for September as part of the 2018 season, this one-off event will be the very first public event held at Kelly Slater’s wave pool.

Stephanie Gilmore will lead Team Australia at the Founders’ Cup. Photo: Courtesy of Sean Rowland/WSL

This format of team-vs-team and co-ed competition will be a first for the WSL.

“As someone who has competed in probably every competition format there is, the Founders' Cup region-versus-region, co-ed format is really intriguing to me,” Kelly Slater said in the press release. “I think May is going to be a great showcase for the world's best surfers at the facility.”

The five captains have already been announced, but the four remaining team members for each region have yet to be determined. Kelly Slater will lead Team USA, Stephanie Gilmore will lead Team Australia, Gabriel Medina will lead Team Brazil, Johanne Defay will lead Team Europe and Jordy Smith will lead Team World.

Tickets will be available for sale starting March 12. Registration for pre-sale tickets can be found at

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