What is the Para Surf League?

MISSION – Para Surf League™ / PSL™ is a Program of AmpSurf (The Association of Amputee Surfers) developed in 2020 and launched in 2022 to Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate (PIER) all Adaptive/Para Surfing athletes and support Para Surfing events around the world for all people with disabilities.

Welsh Para Surfer Llywelyn “Sponge” Williams Photo Credit Sean Evans

WHO WE SUPPORT – Contest Organizers and Athletes engaged in the promotion and establishment of Para Surf contests around the globe for Para Surf Athletes to compete in.

OUR GOAL – We want to help establish a series of contests with partners around the globe, to give adaptive athletes a platform to excel at adaptive/para surf on a world class level. Doing this with a set structure at all events, based on what athletes will encounter at the world class level.

How We Do It – For over 19 years AmpSurf™ has been providing our Learn to Surf clinics to serve those who need us and supporting adaptive surfers and contests around the world, from regional and national events to the World Para Surfing Championships in 2020, ‘21, and ‘22. The Para Surf League™/PSL™ has been created to organize and run all aspects of our competition programming, separating the responsibilities of our organization into two distinct pillars focused on those served by the therapeutic benefits and the competitive benefits. The PSL™ is focused primarily on athlete and competition development, while AmpSurf™ will stay focused on teaching those with disabilities, Veterans and First Responders how to surf and do other outdoor activities.

Sign -Up for Upcoming Contests HERE

PSL Contest Series

Whereas the Para Surf League (PSL) has developed a Global Series Format that will include multiple contests around the Global that will crown champions at three levels

1. Contest Champion

2. Continental Zone Champion

3. PSL Global Champion

With a ranking system for all athletes based on points earned at all contests including the PSL Global Championships.

Whereas the Para Surf League (PSL) will work in good faith with the host nation organizers to do the following

1. Provide funding for a contest to be held in each host nation and seed it with $5k, which can be a combination of monetary funds and material items (i.e. Athlete Swag.

2. Provide a registration platform for all contests held as part of the PSL Global Series, with funds going directly from registration to the contest host organizer.

3. Work with each host to determine a registration fee for athletes to meet the needs of the host organizer and the prize pool for contests.

Whereas the event hosts will ensure the following

1. To raise enough funds to cover all other costs of the PSL/host contest held in their nation.

2. Use the funds provided by the PSL for the following types of expenses, which must be agreed on in writing prior to event development: 

a. Contest prize purse

b. Contest costs

c. Athlete sponsorships for athletes outside their nation and/or continental zone.

d. Share costs with ISA to have Classifiers onsite.

e. Contest webcast

f. Any combination of the above.

3. Contest Structure conforms to ISA World Para Surfing Championships structure and the PSL guidelines to include the following:

a. Minimum of 3 Trained Para Surf Judges

b. 1 Trained Para Surf Head Judge

c. 1 Beach Marshall 

d. 1 Timekeeper and time display system

e. At least 1 spotter

f. At least 1 tabulator

4. Priority system to be the same as used at the ISA World Para Surfing Championships: I.E. Once priority is established riders who make a definitive effort to paddle for a wave, forfeit priority even if they do not catch the wave and go to the end of the priority rotation.

5. Heat structure to follow that of the ISA Worlds Para Surfing Championships with Round Robin format to Elimination rounds with even heats as much allowed.

a. An even heat structure format as follows;

Each rider gets at least 2 rounds before elimination rounds, top 2 scores from either round advance to quarter finals of quarter finals

Top 2 wave scores combined advance up to top 8 max to semi-finals.

Semifinals even number in each heat. Top 2 waves scored for top 4 max go to finals

Finals top 2 scoring waves count for placing 1st- 4th.

b. Must include all Para Surf divisions as established by the International Surfing Association (ISA) in their latest Para Surf report and athletes competing in the divisions must be previously classified or classified at the event they are competing in. If an athlete does not meet classification for a given Para Surf division, they must Surf in an alternative division as detailed below.

c. Depending on number of athletes that register for a Para Surf League event, host can combine divisions with less than 4 athletes in heats, but athletes will still only be scored with in their Para Surf division.

d. One additional Open division will be included at all PSL Contests for the “Legends” of adaptive surf.  The Legends division is for Para Surf athletes that have competed as an adaptive surfer for at least 10 years and the heat structure will follow the same format as detailed above.

e. Two more optional divisions and no more than two may be added as agreed to by the host and the PSL including but not limited to;

i. Warriors Division with a physical disability 

ii. Warriors Division with a mental health disability

iii. Deaf division

iv. Open division for those athletes not already in a Para Surf division or other previously covered division that have a recognized disability in their nation of citizenship.

These addition heats and divisions can be added as agreed on mutually by the host and the PSL.

6. Host will take on one aspect of training for the overall benefit of the sport as a whole and have a day set prior to each contest to do such training.

i.e. a. At the French contest, 1-2 days prior to the start of contest heats will be set for Para Surf Judges training.

b. At the Wales contest, 1-2 days prior to the start of the contest heats will be set for Para Surf Water Safety training.

c. At the South African contest, 1-2 days prior to the start of the contest heats will be set for Para Surf chair transfers training.

d. At the Brazil contest, 1-2 days prior to the start of the contest heats will be set for Para Surf classifier training.

7. If not already established host nation federations for the PSL series will engage and establish relationships with their recognized International Paralympic Committee (IPC) representative, their national ministry for disabilities and any other governing bodies related to Para Sport.

8. The Host will carry liability insurance for their event and list the Para Surf League as an additionally insured for the event they host.

Whereas the PSL will have a structure that leads to PSL Global Championships as follows.

1. Points awarded and Ranking.

Each athlete will earn points for each contest they compete in depending on how they place in the division they are surfing in. 

Points will be awarded for up to 16 surfers per division at each event as 


1st -1500

2nd – 1200


4th – 975

5th- 900

6th- 850

7th – 800

8th – 750

9th – 700

10th – 650

11th – 600

12th – 550

13th – 500

14th – 450

15th – 400

16th – 350

Points will determine over all ranking and who is crowned continental zone champion based on the total points scored over all the contests held for each continental zone.

i.e. If one contest is held in South Africa and that is the only contest held in the continental zone, the top finisher would be crowned contest and the African Continental Zone Champion.

If 5 contest are held in Europe, A competitor could be a contest champion at 1 to 5 Contests but may not be the overall European Zone champion if another athlete accumulated more points than the athlete in their division.

5. Requirements to qualify for invitation to the PSL Global Championships.

A. Each athlete must compete in at least 50% of the contests held in their Continental Zone, plus 1 to be invited to the PSL Global Championships.

i.e. an Athlete competing in the Australian Zone PSL event would need to compete in the PSL Australian contest, plus 1 more contest on another continent.

An athlete competing in the European Zone Series of 4 contests, would need to compete in 2 contest +1 either in their Continental Zone or another Continental Zone.

B. An Athlete must finish in the top 8 of their division in all above-mentioned required contests to qualify to be invited to the PSL Global Championships.

C. If an athlete competes in all PSL contest held around the Global, regardless of how that athlete finishes at those contests, they will receive an invitation to compete in their division at the PSL Global Championships.

Whereas the PSL will hold a Global Championships that will

1. Be by invitation only

2. Follow the same contest and point structure as detailed above.

3. Will crown a Global champion in all Para Surf Divisions that have qualify athletes competing in at the Global Championships.

4. Will award prize money and or other prizes as allowed in the host country to the top 4 finishers of each division.

5. Will have a registration fee no greater than the 2 highest entry fees for any one of the contests held on in the series.

6. Points accumulated at PSL Global Series events will count only towards ranking and seeding for the PSL Global Series. All athletes invited to the PSL Global Championships will receive points based on how they finish at The PSL Global Championships that will be added to their overall PSL Global Series ranking.

Whereas the PSL will, and the host agrees to following a “Prize Purse” format.

 Each entry fee for an athlete will be broken down into quarters as follows

25% going towards contests organizers costs.

25% going towards individual contest prize purse for the top 3-4 finishers in the contest for each division.

25% going towards the Continental Zone champion top 3-4 finishers per division.

25% added to the prize purse going towards the top 3-4 finishers per division at the Global Championships.

ALL contests, athletes and staff involved with the PSL must adhere to SafeSport protocols or their nations equivalent, practices and standards as recognized by the International Surfing Association as well as International Olympic and Paralympic Committees.