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Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve secures 2020 Global Wave Conference 

Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve secures 2020 Global Wave Conference 
April 4, 2019

The Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve has won the rights to host the 2020 Global Wave Conference, the world’s largest surf conference, bringing the conference to Australia for the first time.

Set to be held on the Gold Coast from 10th to 15th February 2020, the sixth Biannual Global Wave Conference coincides with the first year that surfing will be stated as part of the Olympic Games.

The Gold Coast was named the 8th World Surfing Reserve (WSR) in 2015 when it joined the prestigious network of other WSR’s including Malibu, California; Ericeira, Portugal; Manly Beach, Australia; Santa Cruz, California; Huanchaco, Peru; Bahia Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico and Punta de Lobos, Chile.

World Surfing Reserves, a program of Save The Waves, proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world. The program serves as a global model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognising and protecting the key environmental, cultural, economic and community attributes of surfing areas.

Queensland Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni congratulated Andrew McKinnon, Chairman Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve on securing its place as host for the event, stating "the Queensland Government strongly supports the surfing community and is proud to have provided $10,000 investment to support the 2020 Global Wave Conference that will also host a range of fun and healthy activities.

“Residents of Coolangatta and those who we expect to travel from far and wide for this event can take part in ‘get fit’ classes, beach walks, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding sessions, yoga, pilates and qigong in the park.

“There will also be a Saturday sports event involving representatives from surf lifesaving and board riding clubs, indigenous and adaptive surfers and emergency services groups.

“This adds to a full program which already includes the three-day conference and a range of extra events including a surfing expo, workshops, photo and painting exhibition, movie and music festivals.

“Coolangatta is a fitting location for the Global Wave Conference as the Gold Coast is home to the eighth World Surfing Reserve - a majestic stretch of ocean from Snapper Rocks to Burleigh.

“Surfing is thriving on the Gold Coast with the proliferation of club and free surfers and the surf industry which has grown around them.

“Queensland surfers will also play a significant role at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, both as athletes and coaches, where surfing will debut as an Olympic sport."

McKinnon said the event will shine a light on the growing threats to waves and surfing habitats across the globe, adding "we will look at ways to make our coastal environments more sustainable.

“We want to hear from our leaders in the surfing and ocean conservation community about how we can better protect our waves, oceans, beaches, marine ecosystems and the sport of surfing.

“We will talk about the recycling of surfing products, removal of plastics and ways of making our oceans safer, healthier and cleaner for future generations.

“We expect more than 400 delegates to attend including environmental and social scientists, world surfing legends, conservationists and representatives from the surfing industry.”

The sport and fitness activities associated with the conference support the aims of the upcoming Queensland Sport and Active Recreation Strategy 2019-2029, to help Queenslanders become more healthy, active and connected to their community. 

Click here for more information on the Global Wave Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

For more information on the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve go to:

For more information on Save The Waves go to

Related Articles

1st April 2019 - Surfing NSW supports study on the health and injuries associated with competitive surfing

13th March 2019 - Australian developers identify site for Gold Coast surf park

28th February 2019 - Gold Coast multi-million dollar artificial reef project launched

5th October 2018 - Gold Coast secures top international events award

23rd April 2018 - Queensland Government looks to future sporting events for Commonwealth Games venues

31st October 2016 - Gold Coast to host First International Surfing Symposium in 2017

16th October 2015 - Gold Coast announced as the 8th World Surfing Reserve

14th October 2015 - Double chance for Queensland in World Surfing Reserve bids

21st July 2014 - Gold Coast to introduce surf management plan in 2015

20th May 2013 - National recognition for Surfers Paradise’s newest landmark

20th January 2010 - Artificial Dive Reef for Gold Coast?

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