Associate Editor

John John Florence and Carissa Moore will drop their Hawaiian affiliation for USA temporarily for the Founders’ Cup specialty event. Photo: (L) Sherms (R):Poullenot/Aquashot

The Inertia

On Monday, the World Surf League debuted the roster for the highly anticipated (if not equally scorned) Founders’ Cup, and among the most interesting revelations, John John Florence and Carissa Moore will both drop the HAW designations from their names for USA.

Late last month, the WSL revealed Kelly Slater Wave Co.’s secret wave pool in Lemoore, CA would open its doors to the public for the first time in a festival. It will be the first WSL event where spectators will have to pay for tickets. In the announcement, the WSL also explained the Founders’ Cup would adopt a region/team format – a first for the WSL and an obvious nod to surfing’s upcoming Olympic debut.

Now, the League has formalized team rosters (see below). Interestingly, while members of Team Europe and World Team get to maintain their respective country designations, both John John Florence and Carissa Moore who have historically surfed with HAW next to their names have dropped that designation. It’s particularly curious because according to the WSL’s own official rule book, “Tahiti, Reunion Island, and Hawaii are classified as countries.”

The move is clearly influenced by the Olympics – during which Hawaiian athletes have historically had no qualms competing for the United States. Even the godfather of surf, Duke Kahanamoku, did so competing as a swimmer in three separate Olympic games. The ASP and now the WSL, though, have traditionally honored surfing’s Hawaiian heritage by granting separate country designations to surfers who hail from the islands. For now, John John, Carissa, and every other Hawaiian surfer on the men’s and women’s CT and QS maintain the HAW designation for every other event. So why the switch here when John John and Carissa could easily both surf for Hawaii and be members of Team USA? Maybe they were hoping no one would notice.


Here are the full Founders’ Cup rosters:

Captain: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Mick Fanning (AUS)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Julian Wilson (AUS)
Tyler Wright (AUS)


Captain: Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Silvana Lima (BRA)
Taina Hinckel (BRA)

Captain: Johanne Defay (FRA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Frederico Morais (PRT)
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Frankie Harrer (DEU)

Captain: Kelly Slater (USA)
John John Florence (USA)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Carissa Moore (USA)
Courtney Conlogue (USA)

Captain: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Michel Bourez (PYF)
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Paige Hareb (NZL)
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.