Will Surfing in the Olympics Be BMX or Baseball? Roller-Hockey or Wrestling?

Some Olympic sports just disappear. Some of them stay forever. Which sport will surfing be like?

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Hey! Remember when surfing got in the Olympics? I do. It was just a year or so ago after all. Here is the footage of the announcement as I remember it. So exciting, hey? Surfing had made it. Surfing has made it. Our inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Games means, obviously, that we’re now as legitimate a sport as running really fast or jumping into a pool with heaps of sick flips while not splashing too much.

We. Have. Made. It.

And mostly thanks to the tireless work of this guy:

ISA President Fernando Aguerre.


The most fun part about being in the Olympics is that we have to wait two years until we see what that will actually look like, and we can use that time speculating wildly about the future of our glorious culture stamped with sport’s most iconic logo.

There are a whole bunch of sports that have appeared in the Olympics that have never appeared again. And sports can get dropped like a sack of potatoes after years of Olympic glory, also.  A lot of them are weird anomalies that host cities have shoehorned into their games in the first half of the 20th century in an attempt to win more medals. Sports like Croquet and Polo. And some are just strange sports from the early 1900s, like Plunge Diving, One Handed Weight Lifting, Solo Synchronised Swimming and Tug of War (can we please get Tug of War back?!). But there are also successful sports that have been included as a new addition at some point and remained there, hitching themselves to the legacy of the Games.

So how could surfing fare after Tokyo 2020? What Olympic sports could surfing end up looking like?

Could surfing be like BMX ?

Introduced in 2008, it’s been a mainstay ever since. And it rules because, well, take a look at this shit. Take Look at it! As if you’re not accidentally spending a whole Saturday afternoon hungover on a couch watching endless heats of this sport you’ve never even glanced at before. BMX was included to make the Olympics more exciting and it did. Perhaps surfing will do the same.

Or could surfing be like Baseball?

A big-time, successful sport with a huge legacy, out of the 28 Summer Olympics, baseball has appeared in 13 of them, dating all the way back to 1904. But it was dropped in 2012 and 2016. Here to express disappointment about that, appearing exclusively for Surfing World,  is YouTube Channel All Things Baseball

Baseball returns in 2020, but like your friend who keeps getting back with their shitty boyfriend or girlfriend… for how long this time? They’re just not that in to you! If surfing was treated the same, would we even want it to be part of the party? Should we be afraid of how surfing could be treated by the big burly Limpics?

Could surfing be like Roller Hockey?

Roller Hockey featured in the 1992 Barcelona Games as a demonstration sport. It was meant to be a part of the 1996 Atlanta Games proper, but was never heard from ever again. What a bummer. Will that be surfing? Will we be forgotten after 2020?

Or could surfing be like Wrestling?

An Olympic mainstay that has appeared in every single games but one (1900) and has a regal history dating all the way back to ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC.

Watch the video above – particularly the coaches’ reactions just after the one minute mark, –and pray that surfing will be just as legitimate as wrestling one day – thousands of years of ancient sporting history, much like surfing’s own with the ocean riders of Hawaii and Peru, leading to this? It’s glorious. The joy we could experience in coaches and managers like Glenn Micro Hall, Stephen Bell, Gabriel Medina’s dad, or the Rip Curl team manager Fletch if they did the same after surfing’s bronze medal surf off on sporting’s most prestigious stage… that would be unmissable.

Which historic Olympic sport , apart from solo synchronised swimming for obvious reasons, do you think surfing will be most like?

Mike Jennings