The World Surf League 2023 World Junior Championships will take place in Oceanside, California, from January 9–14, 2024 at the Oceanside Pier.
The event features next-generation surfing talent from around the world, with 48 athletes under the age of 18 competing. There will be 24 surfers in both the men’s and women’s draw. Two surfers from the WSL’s seven different regions will qualify to compete.
“We look forward to welcoming the athletes, their families and thousands of spectators who will help boost our local tourism economy during what’s traditionally a slow season,” said Tyler Garcia, Visit Oceanside vice president of business and brand development. “We are also excited to have Oceanside on display for people around the world through the broadcast and social media.”
The Hawaiian Islands HIC Haleiwa Pro, running on Oahu over the next week, will be the last chance to qualify for the World Junior Championship. Surfers have competed in these regional qualifying events over the course of the past year, which is why the WSL is calling it the 2023 World Junior Championships even though the contest will take place in 2024.
“Last year’s event was a true showcase of what the next generation is capable of and we’re excited to bring this event back to Southern California again this year,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL chief of sport. “Some of these competitors are making a name for themselves on the Challenger Series right now.”
Oceanside is 30 minutes south of San Clemente, where the WSL Finals have been held and world champions crowned the last 30 years. Last year’s WSL Finalist Caity Simmers and longtime Championship Tour journeyman Taylor Knox are both from Oceanside.
“Surfing is woven deeply into the fabric of Oceanside, so hosting the best junior surfers in the world for a premier competition at Oceanside Pier is a natural fit,” said Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez. “This is a perfect complement to our lineup of world class surfing events that also includes the wildly popular WSL-sanctioned Super Girl Surf Pro, which takes place in late summer.”
Winners of the 2023 World Junior Champions earn a spot on the 2024 WSL Challenger Series, where they compete for a spot on the Championship Tour the following year.