AASP How We Do It

The objective of the A.A.S.P. is to create and sustain an international professional adaptive surfing tour and elevate the sport of adaptive surfing to an elite professional level. It will be the responsibility of the A.A.S.P. to be the international governing body of professional adaptive surfing and its world rankings. It is our intentions with the support of mainstream surf, sports, medical companies, and large corporate entities to elevate this sport to a professional platform and help adaptive athletes reach the goal of becoming professional adaptive surfers.

This is achieved by combining two (or more) major adaptive surf events from around the world with the same classification structure, priority judging, and point system. In 2022 the A.A.S.P. will have two stop tour at the Hawaiian Adaptive Surfing Championships and the U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships, with an overall combined points from both events to determine a true world champion of adaptive surfing in all nine divisions. In 2023 and 2024 the Australian Adaptive Surfing Championships will be added to the tour roster. Three-time U.S. Open ASC Champion Mark “Mono” Stewart and another representative will be named to the A.A.S.P. Competition Committee to represent Australia when the Australian event is added to the tour roster. The three major adaptive surf events that have currently agreed are:

Hawaiian Adaptive Surfing Championships (June 2022, 2023, 2024 Queens Beach Waikiki, HI)
Australian Open Adaptive Surfing Championships (May or Aug 2023 and 2024 Yeppoon Surf Lake, Australia)
U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships (September 2022, 2023, 2024 Oceanside Pier Oceanside, CA

Classification Structure

Using a universal minimum requirement classification structure (nine divisions) that will include the ability for each event to provide classification with two (minimum) trained qualified classifiers. Classifiers would be trained by Dr. Maureen Johnson, Director of Classification for the A.A.S.P., U.S. Open ASC, ISA Para Surfing World Championships, and Head Classifier for the International Paralympic Adaptive Surfing Division.

The nine divisions that are recognized worldwide by the A.A.S.P., U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships, Hawaiian Adaptive Surfing Championships, and the International Surf Association: 1. Waveski, 2. Below Knee Stand, 3. Above knee Stand, 4. Kneel, 5. Upper Limb Stand, 6. Prone Assist, 7. Prone (Unassisted), 8. Blind, 9. Vision impaired (all divisions can be split by gender, minimum 3 competitors per division)

Point Structure

This point structure would be used by all three events to determine an overall AASP World Champion in each division based on combined points per event.

1st Place 250 Points
2nd Place 180 Points
3rd Place 150 Points
4th Place 120 Points
5th Place 100 Points
6th Place 80 Points
7th place 60 Points
8th Place 40 Points
9th Place 20 Points
10th Place 10 Point
11th Place 0 Points

The Winner of the annual Association of Adaptive Surfing Professionals Championship is the adaptive surfer with the most points after the tour events combined. If the number of points is the same the advantage is given to the adaptive surfer with the most heat wins, if that number is the same it will be decided by the most second places and so on. If there is still a tie in scoring the tie will be broken with the highest wave score at the tours final tour event stop.

Sustainability and Growth of the Sport

The increasing number of disabled people worldwide is the reason for the growth in adaptive sports in general; these numbers also reflect the growth and need for the Association of Adaptive Surfing Professionals to govern the professional platform internationally and guarantee future growth of professional competitive adaptive surfing worldwide.

The number of specifically new spinal cord injuries in the U.S. alone show why the sport of adaptive surfing is growing by the day, these numbers also explain the growth and sustainability for the sport of adaptive surfing world-wide as a professional platform. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistic Center as of 2019 there are approximately 300,000 people living in the United States suffering from spinal cord injuries. There are 12,500 new living spinal cord cases every year in the United States with 80% of those being males. The highest per capita of injury occurs between the ages of 16-30 years old with average age of injury being 33 years old. One of the most staggering statistics for spinal cord injury patients is that only 1% percent of them will make a full recovery. Imagine what those numbers look like worldwide for all the disabilities combine that make up the disabled community internationally.

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, or the numerous other disabilities that make up the adaptive surfing community.

Long Term Tour Goals

The goal of the A.A.S.P. is to have a three-stop professional world championship adaptive surfing tour that entails different surf breaks and points combined for a professional adaptive surfing world champion in all nine divisions.

If in the event of travel restrictions or lock downs due to covid the A.A.S.P. World Championship Tour will remain a two-stop tour until a suitable third professional level event can be added or created.

Sponsors That Support U.S. Open ASC beyond 2021

The University of St. Augustine, Volcom, Sticky Bumps, Jacks Surf Shop, High Fives Foundation, Surf Gimp Foundation, Life Rolls on Foundation

Achievements

Hawaiian ASC: Longest running professional adaptive surfing championship, over 12 successful years.
Hawaiian ASC 2019: Over eighty adaptive athletes from twelve nations, $1,000 dollars in prize money given away.
U.S. Open ASC 2019: Eighty-five adaptive athletes from fourteen nations, $26,000 in prize money given away.
U.S. Open ASC 2021: Seventy adaptive athletes from nine nations $25,000 in prize money

In the four years of the U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships, Stoke for Life Foundation has given away $83,000 dollars in prize pool purse money for all podium winners at the U.S. Open ASC. This is an unprecedented achievement in professional adaptive surfing.

It is vitally important to the sport of professional adaptive surfing to have a recognized governing body of the sport, to keep track of the world rankings and keep the integrity of the sport intact.

To achieve this goal each of the events on the A.A.S.P.’s tour roster has agreed to a letter of recognition recognizing the Association of Adaptive Surfing Professionals as the governing body of PROFESSIONAL ADAPTIVE SURFING separating the platform from amateur adaptive surfing or PARALYMPIC adaptive surfing events and rankings.

Stoke for Life Foundation has secured an umbrella tour sponsor in Visit Oceanside Hospitality Bureau, Visit Oceanside has guaranteed $225,000 dollars in a three-year sponsorship deal to ensure that each A.A.S.P. tour event has a prize pool purse for podium finishers and a prize pool purse for overall combined points winner from each of the nine divisions for 2022, 2023, and 2024 (note $225,000 is prize money only). So as of now the Visit Oceanside A.A.S.P. Adaptive Surfing World Championship Tour is guaranteed to have three sponsored seasons as of 2022 through 2024.