WSR Nomination Process

Each year, Save The Waves accepts one new World Surfing Reserve from surf communities all around the world. The application process requires significant work from local communities and their inquiry is based on the following core criteria: 


1) Quality and consistency of the wave(s);

2) Important environmental characteristics;

3) Culture and surf history;

4) Governance capacity and local support;

5) Priority Conservation Area


Each application is reviewed by an indepedent Vision Council made up of professionals in the conservation, business, nonprofit, and surf fields. Once the World Surfing Reserve is selected based on the rigorous criteria, they undergo the Stewardship Planning Process and the other building blocks to formally dedicate the World Surfing Reserve.

  • Score highly in the WSR criteria (see above)
  • Excellent local support and capacity to carry out conservation projects
  • Excellent communication between Save The Waves and the applying World Surfing Reserve
  • Local support is absolutely essential in a successful application
  • A diverse set of stakeholder involvement is needed for the program