Wave riders from all around the world are washing up in Taitung this week for the fourth annual Taiwan Open of Surfing, the final event in the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC). The tournament has also partnered with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the world’s largest organization. Three ASP divisions will be featured for the first time in Taiwan: a men’s 1-star ASP Qualifying Series (QS), and a men and women’s Longboard QS division.

The competition lasts from November 13-16th at Jinzun Harbor in Donghe Township, Taitung. Pros from Australia, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, the United States, New Zealand, Greece and Indonesia will fight for the ASC championship trophy and one million NT prize money. Besides the ASP and ASC divisions, the Open of Surfing will include a Pro Junior (under 16 years old) division, a Taiwanese Team Challenge (for local only), an International Team Challenge and a surfing training session, which Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang believes will “take the event to another level.”

Many surfers expressed their enthusiasm about coming to Taitung. Last year’s champion, Jun Shiiba of Japan, commented, “Taiwan is a great place with great food and now after last year I’m excited to…see my Taiwanese friends.” Australia’s Nic Jones, a third-time returnee, called the Open of Surfing “an event [he] look[s] forward to all year.” Jones is one of a few athletes who competes in both the longboard and shortboard divisions, making him a surfer to look out for. Last year’s longboard runner up champion, Taylor Jensen from the US, remarked, “I’ve been to Taiwan a few times now and I just love it, when you show up for a competition at some places the locals aren’t too happy to share their waves, but here they welcome us and treat us so well and we always score some good waves.”

Indonesia dominates the Men’s Open Division leader board going into the tournament. Dede Suryana reigns, followed by three-time ASC champ Raditaya Rondia in second and his cousin Garut Widiarta in a close third. In the women’s division, Japan’s Rina Kitazawa returns as last year’s Taiwan Open winner and current ASC champion. She’ll be going head to head with previous champ “Bonnie” Gea from Indonesia and 14 other female competitors. For photos, videos, and surfer profiles, check out the official Taiwan Open of Surfing website. The ASP website is a hub for all things winds and wave, including news, events and rankings.

Photos and video via Taiwan Open of Surfing official website