World Surfing Reserves

World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world. The program will create a global network of designated surfing reserves that are internationally and regionally recognized.


World Surfing Reserves (WSR) is a program launched in December 2008 in California at the ‘Save The Waves’ Value of Waves Roundtable with the goal of taking the NSR concept global

The event brought together thought leaders from the worldwide surfing, environmental and scientific communities to discuss wave and coastal protection within the context of a global wave enshrinement program: World Surfing Reserves.

Each of us hopes that we can make a difference on some level in the long run. I’m honoured to work with the World Surfing Reserves to hopefully be a small part of that difference in protecting the tradition and history around the surfing world’s most symbolic and important beaches. The vision is to dedicate and respect those spots for future generations. It’s about time this has come to fruition and I’m very stoked to be working alongside them to lend a voice and help ensure everyone has a say in honouring the beaches that have brought the lifestyle we love to each and every one of us.

Kelly Slater: 11 x World Surfing Champion


WSR aims are to achieve recognition of the world’s best surfing sites and associated surfing history and culture through their dedication as WSR, and in doing so to assist in their long-term preservation as surfing sites. Such sites must have exceptional quality and consistency of the surf, together with a long and rich history of surfing and associated surfing culture. In doing so it also aims to encourage and assist surfing nations to develop their own national surfing reserves, using the Australia NSR model.

It is envisaged there will be approximately 20-30 WSR’s worldwide. In Australia to be eligible for WSR status a site must first be dedicated as an NSR. It is anticipated there will between 25-30 NSR’s in Australia, with 4-5 of these probably being eligible for nomination as a WSR.

In August 2009 WSR called for nominations from all national surfing organisations for WSR’s. More than 150 sites were nominated from 34 countries.

The Vision Council then shortlisted 20 sites from which significant sites were selected to be the first three WSR dedicated in 2010-11.

NSR continue to drive the development of WSR to build a global program to recognize the universal value of oceans, waves and beaches for present and future generations.

“NSR Founders Brad Farmer and Andy Short both sat on the WSR Executive Board for the first 5 years assisting and directing the architecture of how WSR would operate and engage with surfing communities world wide.”

Malibu in California became the first World Surfing Reserve in October 2010, followed by Ericeira (Portugal, 2011), Manly-Freshwater (Australia, 2012), and Santa Cruz (USA, 2012). In 2013, Huanchaco in Peru became the first South American WSR. Recently proposed WSR’s include: Todos Santos (Mexico), Punta de Lobos (Chile), Uluwatu (Indonesia), North Shore (Hawaii) and Jeffreys Bay (South Africa).