Good Waves, Bad Waves, Perfect Waves: A Timeline of the ASPFeb 16 2007 / Los Angeles, CA
A Time of Professional Surfing, from 1970 to the 2007 Foster’s ASP World Tour
The Association of Surfing Professionals has been the organized arm of professional surfing going back to 1983, when the ASP staged a coup and took over (literally) from International Professional Surfing – a group formed by Fred Hemmings and Randy Rarick in the late 70s.
Good waves, bad waves, the ASP has seen it share in that turbulent quarter century - controversy and success, rebellions and riots - but it has hammered itself into a very professional organization, bringing scores of contests to a dozen different countries and offering millions of dollars in prize money to aspiring surfers the world over.
This timeline shows some highlights from that long climb out of the impossibility of surfers ever making money for surfing.
1970: Founded by 1968 world champion Fred Hemmings the first Pipeline contest was called the “Hawaiian Masters”. Hawaiian Jeff Hakman won the $500 first prize.
1974: Floridian surfer Jeff Crawford becomes the first East Coaster to win the Pipeline Masters.
1976: International Professional Surfers (IPS) is founded by Fred Hemmings and Randy Rarick, bringing together a loose affiliation of surf contests around the world and forming them into one World Circuit. The purpose is to develop a rating system to determine a legitimate World Champion. Rarick becomes the first Tour Director.
1976: Peter Townend is the first IPS World Champion. There is no women’s division.
1977: South African Shaun Tomson wins the Men’s IPS World Championship, and Margo Oberg wins the Women’s.
1978: Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew is the Men’s IPS World Champion, and Lynne Boyer is the Women’s.
1978: Fred Hemmings has International Professional Surfers name changed to International Professional Surfing, so as not to be construed as a surfers union. Rolex and Pan Am come aboard as tour sponsors signifying the legitimacy of the World Tour.
1979: Mark Richards wins the first of four World Titles, and Lynne Boyer repeats as IPS Women’s World Champion.
1980: Mark Richards repeats as IPS Men’s World Champion, and Margo Oberg wins the Women’s.
1980s: Going into the 1980s, the IPS continues to sanction pro events in South Africa while most international sports federations boycott the country because of its racist apartheid policies.
December, 1981: Australian surfer/designer Simon Anderson introduces the three-finned Thruster surfboard to the world with a win at the 1981 Pipeline Masters.
December 1981: Randy Rarick resigns as the IPS tour director and Geoff Lutton of Australia is appointed interim director for 1982. This allows Ian Cairns to begin to formulate the Association of Suring Professionals.
1981: Mark Richards wins his third IPS World Title, while Margo Oberg repeats as the Women’s Champion.
1982: Mark Richards wins his fourth IPS World Title while Debbie Beacham wins the Women’s.
1982; The 1982 IPS Men’s division had 12 events with a total prize purse of $338,100, while the 1983 ASP circuit had 16 contests plus four “specialty events” in Australia for a total prize purse of $487,900.
January 1983: Backed by Ocean Pacific Sunwear, Australian pro Ian Cairns launches the Association of Surfing Professionals to compete directly with the IPS. Discontent with the IPS shows as many top pros jump to the ASP. The first two events are held in South Africa, in June.
November 1983: Going into Hawaii, ASP founder Ian Cairns forbids ASP surfers from surfing in the IPS-sanctioned Hawaiian Triple Crown events. Hawaiian surfer Dane Kealoha (along with Bobby Owens) can’t resist, wins the Pipe Masters but loses his ASP points and Top Five seed.
1983: Tom Carroll is the first ASP Men’s World Champion, while Kim Mearig wins the Women’s.
1983: With the World Champion no longer crowned in Hawaii, Fred Hemmings creates the Triple Crown to honor the surfer who does best in the three Hawaii events, usually held at Pipeline, Sunset and Haleiwa, with some events held at Waimea Bay. Michael Ho wins the first Triple Crown.
1984: Op withdraws as sponsor of the ASP.
May 1984: There are no Hawaiian events on the ASP schedule, so the 1983 season ends in May, in Australia at the Coke Contest in Sydney. Tom Carroll makes history as the first ASP Men’s World Title holder. Tom Curren finishes in eighth place overall.
July of 1984: The first use of a scoring system devised by George Stokes.
December 1984: With the IPS fading, the Pipeline Masters gets an ASP sanction as a specialty event. Californian Joey Buran wins this year in 15-foot barrels.
1984: The 1983/84 ASP season had 16 events. Tom Carroll repeats as champion and Florida’s Frieda Zamba is the Women’s. Derek ho wins the Triple Crown.
July 1985: Politics and Pro Surfing: Top guns Tom Carroll and Tom Curren are most prominent in a group of ASP surfers who boycott the South African leg of the tour in protest of that government's brutal apartheid policies.
September 1985: The ASP holds its first wavepool event, at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Tom Carroll wins the event but wonders why the world’s best bothered.
1985: The 1984/85 ASP season had 24 events. Santa Barbara native Tom Curren wins his first ASP Men’s World Title, while Frieda Zamba wins the Women’s. Michael Ho wins his second Triple Crown title.
August, 1986: At Huntington Beach, rowdy spectators go berserk on the land and turn the Op Pro into a riot: overturning and burning police vehicles and vandalizing lifeguard headquarters.
September 1986: ASP director is disgusted and disgraced by the Op Pro Riot, so he resigns and moves back to Australia, saying: "This has set us back 10 years," Australian Graham Cassidy takes the helm.
1986: Tom Curren repeats as ASP Men’s champion. Frieda Zamba repeats as the women’s. Derek Ho wins his second Triple Crown title and Nat Young becomes the first ASP World Tour Longboard champion.
October 1987: The ASP begins to move away from spectator-oriented events to wave-oriented events by holding the first specialty event: Op Fiji Pro on the island of Tavarua.
1987: Australian Damien Hardman is the Men’s World Champion and South African/Australian Wendy Botha is the Women’s. Australian Gary Elkerton wins the Triple Crown title and Stuart Entwistle is the ASP World Longboard Champion.
April, 1988: Brazilians Flavio Padaratz and Fabio Gouveia give the world notice of the Brazilian Nuevo Wavo from South America.
May 1988: Body Glove sponsors the domestic Bud Tour, providing a farm league for American’s most ambitious pros, including Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. The Bud Tour was also a model for the World Qualifying Series.
June 1988: The ASP schedule has 21 events of various status, causing a lot of sleep deprivation and travel stress among the top pros.
July, 1988: The first time the current scoring system was used, at the Hang Loose Pro Contest in Brazil.
December 1988: With intense lobbying from Randy Rarick and the Hawaiian sponsors, it is realized The ASP Tour moves back to Hawaii for the finale, causing a sigh of relief among all the competitors. Tom Carroll makes a mistake at the Pipe Masters and loses the World Title to Barton Lynch. Frieda Zamba wins her third Women’s Title. Derek Ho wins the Triple Crown and Nat Young wins his second ASP World Longboard title.
Winter, 1989: With perfect surf rolling thru at Sunset Beach for the World Cup of Surfing final and man-on-man heats being held with only two surfers out, an outraged Peter Cole pushes through a Honolulu City & County rule change regulating all heats in Hawaii have to have a minimum four surfers.
1989: South Africans Martin Potter and Wendy Botha win the Men’s and Women’s World Titles, Gary Elkerton wins his second Triple Crown and Nat Young wins his third World Longboard Title.
February 1990: Tom Curren emerges from semi-retirement in France, surfs from the trials to the final at the Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz and wins the next two events at Burleigh and Bells.
September 1990: Fabio Gouveia is the first Brazilian to win a World Tour event, at the Hang Loose Pro in Rio de Janeiro.
1990: Tom Curren reclaims the Men’s World Title, Australian Pam Burridge wins the Women’s, Derek Ho wins the Triple Crown and Nat young wins the World Longboard title.
December 1991: ASP director Graham Cassidy details a new, two-tiered ASP system in which ambitious pros must surf the World Qualifying Series (WQS) in order to quality for the World Championship Tour (WCT ) This is a Kelly Slater’s first year as a full time pro, at the age of 19.
December, 1991: To win the Pipe Masters, Tom Carroll hooks a huge, gouging turn in the pocket of a Pipeline bomb that people are still talking about. It is now called “The Snap.”
1991: Damien Hardman and Wendy Botha win the Men’s and Women’s World Titles, Tom Carroll wins the Triple Crown and Marty McMillan wins the World Longboard Championship. Kelly Slater finishes 43rd on the WQS and just makes the WCT.
August 1992: Kelly Slater wins his first World Tour event at the Rip Curl Pro in France.
September 1992: As a New School of talented California surfers begin to make a noise on the ASP Tour, Tom Curren drops out of competition and devotes his time to Rip Curl’s The Search.
December 1992: Kelly Slater wins his first Pipe Masters and is the ASP Men’s World Champion after his firs full year on tour. Wendy Botha repeats as Women’s Champion, Sunny Garcia wins the Triple Crown and Joey Hawkins wins the World Pro Tour Longboard tile.
December 1993: Hawaiian Derek Ho brings the World Title back to the Land of the Sport of Kings, and also wins the Pipe Masters. Australian Pauline Menczer wins the Women’s, Sunny Garcia wins the Triple Crown and Rusty Keaulana is the World Longboard Champion.
June 1994: Furthering the idea of putting the best surfers in the lineup with the best waves, Billabong holds their first Billabong Challenge in perfect barrels at Gnarloo, in Western Australia.
November, 1994: First broadcast of live scores over the Internet, at the Triple Crown of Surfing.
December 1994: Under President Graham Cassidy, the ASP signs an umbrella sponsorship with Coca Cola Australia. The tour now must end in Australia, which doesn’t make everyone happy.
1994: Kelly Slater wins his second Men’s World Title, Lisa Andersen wins her first Women’s World Title, Sunny Garcia wins the Triple Crown and Rusty Keaulana repeats as World Longboard Champion.
February 1995: Perhaps because of the Coca Cola agreement and the season ending in Australia, Graham Cassidy steps down as ASP president under pressure. South Africa Graham Stapelberg takes his place. His first move is to return the season finale to the Hawaiian Triple Crown.
March 1995: Kelly Slater wins his second Foster's ASP World Tour title at the Coke Contest, held in Sydney, Australia.
May 1995: Kelly Slater is remarkable in perfect Grajagan barrels for the Quiksilver Pro specialty event. The eye-raising surf and performances furthers the idea of great surfers in great waves.
September, 1995: The first audio-only webcast was done from Portugal, supported by PT Telecom.
October 1995: Pro surfing experiences a 70% decline in U.S. television coverage. The domestic US Bud Tour begins to fade, due to lack of TV interest and other factors.
December 1995: Slater and Rob Machado battle for the Foster's ASP World Tour
Title at the Pipeline Masters, their now-famous “high five” a watermark of good sportsmanship. Slater wins the event and the Foster's ASP World Tour title. Lisa Andersen repeats as Women’s Champion. Kelly Slater wins his first Triple Crown title and Rusty Keaulana is the World Longboard Champion.
January 1996: The great surfers in great waves thing is kicked up a gear, as Quiksilver holds the G-Land event again, Billabong sponsors Kirra and J-Bay, and Rip Curl backs Bells, Reunion Island and Hossegor.
February 1996: Seventeen-year-old Andy Irons wins his first ASP Men's World Qualifying Series event, the HIC Pipe Pro, held in ferocious 12-foot storm surf. Bruce makes the semis and they both get back to Kauai in time for their high school classes.
September, 1996: The first full webcast - combining video and audio and live scores - was done from Portugal, fully supported by PT Telecom and Progressive networks
December 1996: Slater claims his fourth Foster’s ASP World Tour title in France and then does a victory roll by winning the Pipe Masters. Lisa Andersen is the ASP Women's World Tour champion, Hawaiian Kaipo Jaquias wins the Triple Crown and Bonga Perkins wins the World Pro Tour Longboard Championship.
May 1997: Andy Irons wins the first WQS event ever held at Teahupoo, Tahiti.
October 1997: Coca Cola ends its umbrella sponsorship of the ASP after three years, to be picked up by CSI, a European sports management firm that wants to concentrate on television.
December 1997: Slater wins four of the first five events and dominates the year to take his fifth Foster’s ASP World Tour title. Lisa Andersen wins her fourth ASP World Women’s Tour title. Mike Rommelsee wins the Men’s Triple Crown and Layne Beachley wins the first Women’s Triple Crown title. Dino Miranda is the longboard Champion.
August 1998:: Andy Irons wins the Op Pro and U.S. Open back-to-back in Huntington Beach, assuring his place in the 1999 Foster’s ASP World Tour.
December 1998: Kelly Slater comes from way behind and passes Australians Mick Campbell and Daniel Wills. This is Kelly’s sixth Foster’s ASP World Tour title and Layne Beachley wins her first. Slater and Beachley are also the Triple Crown champions and Joel Tudor wins the Longboard title. This is the first year the ASP has a World Pro Tour Junior title and it’s won by Kauai’s Andy Irons.
May 1999: Cory Lopez pulls into an epic death barrel at Teauhpoo and sets the pace for a lot of bigger and gnarlier barrels to come.
July, 1999: The first multi-language webcast, of the Alternativa Pro, Brazil, supported by SporTV.
December 1999: Sixteen years after his first appearance on the Foster’s ASP World Tour, Mark Occhilupo wins his third event of the year in Brazil and a long-deserved world title. Layne Beachley wins her second ASP Women's World Tour. Sunny Garcia and Trudy Todd are the Triple Crown champions, Colin McPhillips wins the Longboard title and Joel Parkinson is the Junior champion.
August 2000: Former IPS World Champion and Free Ride era veteran Rabbit Bartholomew becomes the new ASP President and announces a two-year plan to increase the prize purses to $250,000 from $135,600 for 2002. Event sponsors are offered multi-year licensees if they pony up, and events held at prime locations are rewarded with more ratings points.
2000: Thirty-year-old Hawaiian Sunny Garcia wins his fifth Triple Crown en route to becoming the second Hawaiian surfer to win the Foster’s ASP World Tour. Layne Beachley wins her third ASP Women's World Tour title. Sunny Garcia and Heather Clark are the Triple Crown titlists, Beau Young wins the World Pro Tour Longboard title and Brazilian Pedro Henrique wins the World Pro Tour Junior title.
September 2001: The terrorist attacks of 9/11 force the cancellation of the European leg of the tour. The season becomes the shortest in ASP history, with only five events counting toward the title. Floridian C.J. Hobgood joins Frieda Zamba, Lisa Andersen, Kelly Slater to become the fourth U.S. East Coast surfer to win an ASP world title. Layne Beachley continues her dominance of the Women’s title. Myles Padaca wins the Triple Crown and there is no Women’s champion. Colin McPhillips wins the World Pro Tour Longboard title and Joel Parkinson wins his second Junior title.
March 2002: This is the first year of the Dream Tour, which puts the emphasis on great surfers in great waves: Bell’s Beach, Fiji, Teahupoo, Jeffrey’s Bay. Hawaii. Kelly Slater is lured out of retirement by the thought of all those two-man heats in perfect surf, and also Andy Irons singing “Goodbye Old School” under his balcony.
April 2002: Andy Irons wins back-to-back events at Bells and Teahupoo. Kelly Slater skips Bells to be at the side of his father, terminally ill with cancer.
December 2002: Andy Irons claims the Fosters ASP World Tour title at Sunset Beach and also wins the Pipe Masters. Irons earns $197,875 in prize money, and twice that in salary. Layne Beachley wins her fifth ASP Women's World Tour. Andy Irons and Neridah Falconer are the Triple Crown champions, and Colin McPhillips wins the Longboard title.
January, 2004: January, 2004: The first full production webcast – supported by Starcomm Productions – of the Quiksilver/Roxy Gold Coast. It totaled 183,000 stream hits.
Summer, 2004: First broadcast of live TV over the internet: the Billabong Pro Tahiti live to Brazil’s SporTV.
2004: Foster’s Beer signs a three-year agreement to become the umbrella sponsor for professional surfing and the men’s tour becomes the Foster’s ASP World Tour.
December 2004: Andy Irons wins his third Fosters ASP World Tour title, while Peruvian Sofia Mulanovich comes from nowhere to win the ASP Women’s World Tour title.
2005: Kelly Slater returns to full-time competition, and after an epic, see-saw battle with Andy Irons, reclaims his seventh World Title. Chelsea Georgeson and Sofia Mulanovich have an epic battle at the final event of the year at Honolua Bay, which Chelsea wins to claim the Triple Crown and her first ASP Women’s World Tour title.
July 10, 2006: Nineteen year old American Schuyler McFerran from Encinitas, California wins the Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championship presented by Evian after surfing from the first round and winning every one of the eight heats she contested.
December, 2006: Kelly Slater wins his eighth Fosters ASP World Tour title in Spain, then meets Andy Irons in an epic final heat at Pipeline. Layne Beachley reclaims her ASP Women's World Tour in perfect surf at Honolua Bay.
January 2007; The ASP announces the use of instant replay by ASP judges for the coming Foster’s ASP World Tour.
[With input from and thanks to Al Hunt, Mano Ziul, Randy Rarick, Melissa Buckley and Chris Mauro]