Criteria & Evaluation
Pristine surfing environment. Photo: William Henry
WSR eligible waves and surf zones are evaluated and chosen based on the following criteria:
1) Quality and consistency of the wave or surf zone;
2) Unique environmental characteristics of the area;
3) Surf & ocean culture and history of the area;
4) Local community support
To qualify as a World Surfing Reserve, sites normally possess the following as minimum criteria: a globally-significant surf spot or outstanding series of surf breaks; unique environmental characteristics along with a strong passion to protect them; a rich surf culture and history; and strong community support. Sites are evaluated on a combination of the above criteria, so in certain instances areas that score very high in one category and lower in another might still qualify and be accepted. Conversely, sites that score extremely low on one of the criteria might not be accepted despite ranking high on others. Additionally applications for sites that don't provide sufficient documentation or evidence regarding the various criteria might be delayed or asked to resubmit an application at a future time.
For more information on how to apply to become a World Surfing Reserve, please see to our How to Apply page.