All Eyes on LU: The 2023 La Union International Pro to Host Both Longboard and Shortboard Qualifiers
SAN JUAN, La Union, Philippines - 2023 will begin with a bang as the World Surf League (WSL) lands in Urbiztondo Beach for the first time through the WSL La Union International Pro. The Surfing Capital of the North will host not only a QS 3000 event for Men’s and Women’s Shortboard but also a QS 1000 event for Men’s and Women’s Longboard from January 20-26.
The Point at Urbiztondo Beach.
Roger Casugay with 5 toes on the nose at the point in San Juan, La Union. (Photo by Michael Eijansantos)
The Point was also the primary location for the 2019 SEA Games where top Filipino surfers Roger Casugay and Nilbie Blancada won gold medals in the Men’s Longboard and Women’s Shortboard categories.
Members of the Philippine delegation pose with their medals, Nilbie Blancada, Marama Tokong, Daisy Valdes, Roger Casugay, Ikit Agudo, Jayr Esquivel, Piso Alcala (Left to right).
The 2023 La Union International Pro is one of the few contest locations in the world to host both Shortboard and Longboard qualifiers. A crucial 3,000 points will be awarded to the winners of the Shortboard QS, which upcoming athletes from the Asia Pacific region will need to further climb the rankings and cement slots in the 2023 Challenger Series.
Meanwhile, winners of the longboard QS will secure spots in the 2023 WSL Longboard Tour, which will culminate in Malibu, California.
Aerial view of the point at Urbiztondo Beach
The United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA), in partnership NextGen Philippines, with the cooperation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) of Region 1, now carries out what the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) first envisioned: the professionalization of surfing in the Philippines. Just 5 years after the inception of the country’s first national tour, the Philippines has opened its doors to international surfing events including the WSL, the world’s premier surfing league.
Current #1 Men's Longboard Division, Jomarie Ebueza
“I’m super excited for the upcoming WSL 2023 International Pro,” shares La Union surfer Jomarie Ebueza, who sits at the #1 spot of the UPSA Men’s Open Longboard rankings.
“I look forward to meeting fellow surfers from different parts of the world and learning from them as well.”
This will be the first international competition that Ebueza will join and he hopes to compete in both longboard and shortboard events.
Philippines' surf team at the 2019 SEAGames.
More opportunities await the careers of local pro surfers as more WSL-sanctioned surfing events enter the Philippines and the neighboring APAC regions. Like Ebueza, many Filipino surfers can compete in both shortboard and longboard categories.
Words by Camille Pilar
Gabriel Batallones; UPSA
Michael Eijansantos; Mylifeonboard.net
To register for the 2023 La Union International Pro, you may visit these link: http://www.pilipinassurfing.contactin.bio
You can also check out Worldsurfleague.com for more updates.