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World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:39 pm
by Jani Soderhall
May 21, 2105


As some of you are aware, IOC is interested in getting skateboarding into the Olympics.
It's not new but recently things have started to get a bit more urgent if this is going to happen for 2020 in Tokyo.
For a sport to be able to be recognized by IOC there has to be an officially recognized international federation for the sport.
Currently there are three federations that claims to want to have a word on this subject.
Because of this IOC has invited these three federations into the discussion to help push things forward.
A short description of the three...

- FIRS (Federation International de Roller Sports -
The president of the skateboarding group is the well-known Titus Dittmann from Germany.
This federation is already a member of the IOC family.
And it seems at the time when they did enter into IOC family they also ticked the box for skateboarding.
This is why they want to claim that skateboarding is a part of their family of roller sports.
SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for International Federations, confirms that FIRS is "the official and full member of SportAccord for roller sports and includes the discipline of skateboarding as well".
But agrees the sport's organisations are "fragmented".
They have a big net of roller federations around the world as members.
But the only official skateboarding federation so far is the Latvian Skateboard Federation with our own slalom champion racer Lienite Skaraine as president.
Also it may be added that there are are already some countries that has skateboarding organized under national Roller sport associations (France for example).

- ISF (
President Gary Ream.
ISF has since many years applied to the IOC to be officially recognized as the international skateboarding body.
They are backed from some national organisations as well as some heavy event organizers and from many in the industry (IASC). But they still have not been able to make it happen.
This is not to criticize because there are certain demands from IOC on an international federation.
And they are quite demanding even though increased flexibility is promised in the IOC's Agenda for the 2020 reform process.
The aim has been to try and get control over international skateboarding by the skateboard scene itself.
Before it is taken over by other federations like FIRS or the bicycle federation that tried to do so some years ago.
Officially you could say that skateboarding is already taken by FIRS but this is challenged by ISF.

- WSF (
President Tim McFerran.
WSF showed up as another part on the scene some years ago.
It's not much different from ISF in that it want to connect relevant skateboarders, organizations, brands and manufacturers for the further expansion of skateboarding.
The only difference that might be seen is that WSF is very eager to have the whole skateboard family together in setting up the international body for skateboarding.
By this meaning to have all the big skateboard discipline groups gathered and visible in such a structure.
I.e Street, Vert, Pool, Downhill, Slalom and Flatland/Freestyle.
Downhill, Freestyle and Slalom already have their international associations.
The idea has been to gather and push for all skateboard disciplines under the same roof of skateboarding.

- So what is best road ahead for ISSA and the slalom skateboard community?
We still does not know what will come out of these IOC negociations between FIRS, ISF and WSF.
It may be one of them or a combination of them that will come out as an official federation.

The Downhill and Freestyle community have already put their support behind WSF.

After due consideration the ISSA Board of Directors (for the record: 4 votes for WSF, 1 for ISF) have decided to go down the same path as Downhill and Freestyle have done. It seems logical doing so with the more strong focus on taking into account the existing discipline structure of skateboarding. And work for an international skateboard federation being able to work hard and push for all the very different aspects of skateboarding. On the daily work on the field it will not make much difference from today's much separated skateboard worlds between the disciplines going on. But when creating an international skateboarding federation it seems very logical having all the skateboard disciplines under the same roof. And having a federation structure living up to that.

Whatever the result of the final official solution of an international governing body for skateboarding ISSA will support it and work together with them to showcase slalom racing and what this classic skateboard discipline is all about.

Jani Söderhäll, ISSA president

on behalf of the ISSA BOD 2015: Jani Söderhäll, Robert Thiele, Ron Barbagallo, Sammy Nogueira, Patric Duletzki, Hans Koraeus and Humberto Salcedo

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 12:26 pm
by Jani Soderhall
Article from the first Global Skateboarding Summit organized by WSF May 23-24. ... 0691#ngtop

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:08 pm
by Jani Soderhall

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:13 pm
by Hans Koraeus
Image Image Image

(Kimberley, South Africa — September 28, 2015) Today, the Tokyo Olympic Committee announced that they are proposing that skateboarding will be one of two new sports to be added to the 2020 Olympics Games. The following is a statement from Tim McFerran, president of World Skateboarding Federation regarding today’s announcement.
Tim McFerran, president of World Skateboarding Federation wrote:WSF is pleased about the exciting and positive news coming out of Tokyo to include Skateboarding in the 2020 Olympics and we are hopeful that it will win final approval by the IOC next year. WSF has been active around the world promoting and organizing skateboarding and highlighting the positives that skateboarding brings to communities. World Skateboarding Federation has grown from the idea of providing social development and leadership to skateboarders and governments on a global basis, to an organization with almost 4000 members representing 92 countries and sanctioning over 60 contests in all disciplines of skateboarding including Street, Vert, Bowl, Slalom, Park, Downhill and Freestyle. In the short time since our establishment, we have been overwhelmed by the continuous stream of applications we are getting to join our group on a daily basis. We have received praise from numerous governmental and private organizations in countries from all over the world about the positive impact WSF has had in the lives of youth. We have had constant contact and very positive conversations with members of the IOC about how skateboarding can have a positive impact on the 2020 Olympic games and the youth of the world and are extremely grateful to be invited to take part in this process. WSF is actively working with many national federations and government agencies around the world to provide leadership and guidance to ensure a very positive experience for all skateboarders and their fans at the games. We want to thank the Tokyo 2020 committee for their recommendation and hope the IOC will give skateboarding this opportunity when they bring it to a final vote next year. I have personally been involved in the biggest contests in skateboarding since 2008 and I am pleased that this news comes out just prior to the Skateboarding World Championships (7-10 October), where the best skateboarders in the world will compete in Kimberley, South Africa, for the largest prize purse in skateboarding. Many of these competitors will likely represent their countries in the 2020 Olympics if it gets voted in by the IOC and WSF is proud to have played a role in the process.

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:21 pm
by Hans Koraeus
IOC will create separate international skateboard association ... /73914348/

English Skateboard Association ... joins-wsf/

See webcast from stree and vert finals from skateboard World Championships ... pionships/

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:52 am
by Jani Soderhall
This is exactly what we were hoping for: the IOC recognizes that FIRS can't manage skateboard and thus initiates the creation of a new organization. And it was important for use to join WSF to make sure that slalom exists. The ISF very clearly only cares about street and pool, which are obviously the big ones, but skateboarding is so much more than that.

Exciting times ahead!


Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:07 pm
by Jani Soderhall

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:46 pm
by Jani Soderhall
And now the Brazilians are arguing also because skaters don't want to be represented by FIRS when they have a functional national organization that caters for skateboarding... ... ute-sorted

This article also mentions the WSF lawsuit against ISF and IOC for being excluded from the collaboration.

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:10 am
by Jani Soderhall
More info on preparation for the Olympics.
Here's a slideshow that was prepared by FIRS to start organize skateboarding.

Just the article is French, the slide show is in English.

(ps. The few worded French article is very critical as one could expect from any average skateboarder).

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:56 am
by Anton Nikulin
Jani Soderhall wrote:
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:10 am
Hello, Jani!

Could you please tell about what's happening in skateboarding federation's world today? :)
And about the Congress.)

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:32 pm
by Jani Soderhall
Thanks Anton!

We are just now travelling home from the World Skate Congress that was held yesterday in Barcelona, Spain. World Skate is the new name for the international roller skate organization that was previously called FIRS. In 2017 they merged with ISF (see above) under pressure from IOC to "take care" of skateboarding as none of the two skateboarding federations (ISF and WSF) were mature enough to become an federation recognized by the IOC.

FIRS, founded in 1924, had previously been recognized by the IOC even though they never had any Olympic disciplines themselves. They were however a fully formed international federation with statutes, membership, regular congresses, understanding and handling of doping control etc. The IOC "forced" skateboarding into this existing organization to avoid having yet another organization. The initial agreement was that a skateboarding committee would be formed with representatives from ISF, WSF and FIRS and one athlete representative. Shortly after FIRS and ISF manouvered out WSF from this group. WSF followed up with a lawsuit, which has since been put on hold.

Thus, skateboarding IS now governed by World Skate as World Skate got the mission from IOC to organize the skateboarding events in Olympic Games in Tokyo. That work is being led by Gary Ream who is also on the Executive Committee of World Skate. ISF, as I understand it, has been dismantled, and has disappeared. Because of the broken promises WSF is now acting in opposition to World Skate, and the WSF president Tim McFerran is often cited in articles critical of World Skate. Apart from that WSF no longer has any formal role today.

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:51 pm
by Jani Soderhall
A report from the World Skate Congress will follow in a coming topic. This topic will remain devoted primarily to WSF.

Re: World Skateboard Federation - WSF

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:12 pm
by Jani Soderhall
As of December 31st 2020 the ISSA is no longer affiliated with WSF, and we're now ready to pursue our integration into World Skate. We'll keep you posted in another topic.