Save Surf Sports - Say No to IronX

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A message to the Lifesaving community.

The Iron X is an absurd Franken-sport mockery that has no connection to our sport, has no pathway for our youth and shows zero respect to what past great athletes have achieved. There is not a single example in the global sporting arena of a professional sport that has made drastic changes to its core makeup, its DNA, and prevailed over the long term. The changes proposed by SLSA would be a short cut to the end of the sport that we know and love.
It is clear from the level of investment in this farce that SLSA is doing all they can to ensure they can make the claim that it was successful, and to therefore justify the inclusion of the novelty components into next seasons elite iron racing series. Despite building public media attention on the issue, meetings with athletes, clubs and coaches, as well as a substantial amount of social media comments and posts demonstrating that the overwhelming majority of SLSA’s stakeholders do not support IronX, SLSA is refusing to listen to its own community, and it is truly astounding that SLSA could be so exceptionally, bewilderingly disconnected from its key stakeholders. Therefore, it is time to make it abundantly clear to SLSA that to continue down this path would be in direct contradiction to the wishes of its stakeholders.
Please sign and share this petition to help ensure these changes are not incorporated into our sport, and to help demonstrate that the Lifesaving community does not support the embarrassing farce that is the so called IronX circus.


There is not a successful pro sport anywhere that has changed its fundamental skill set; not a single long-term example of a Franken-sport exists in professional sport today. They change the garment, not the DNA. The IronX idea is an attempt to invent a sporting event that doesn’t exist, by grafting on an extra out-of-frame discipline (SUP) and a bunch of what sounds like vaguely demeaning Ninja Warrior / Tough Mudder style antics on the side. None of this has anything to do with surf sports or surf racing’s DNA. Indeed, it’s a way of saying to the athletes, supporters, core fan base and the kids coming up; ‘your sport sucks, and we are going to smash its DNA and build a Franken-sport in its place. Nobody asks a professional football player to climb a rope ladder or tells a professional triathlete to push over a giant truck tyre in between legs.
Sports need pathways – all the successful pro sports in the world today exist due to a core base of enthusiasts; people who can build and maintain a pathway to the summit of the sport, and a lot of kids willing to step onto that pathway and see how far they can get. This is why Franken-sports never last; they have no core base, and no clear pathway for younger generations to reach the top. They flare briefly, circus-style, and then when things get hard or a promoter loses interest or TV turns off – they simply cease to exist. There’s no pathway for IronX, and this is the clearest demonstration of SLSA’s complete lack of common sense and logical consideration towards this event. Is there nipper SUP planned? Do they expect nipper parents to spend thousands more dollars on even more craft? Are Surf Club’s and their coaches expected to train their members in monkey bar swinging? Have they considered any of this, for even one moment? Or are they blinded by short term greed?
Whose really responsible for the reduced profile of iron racing?
The profile of our sport soared during the cereal war period, with membership and nipper numbers exploding, but when sponsorship investment reduced, SLSA never picked up the baton, never worked towards securing new sponsors, never leveraged the amazing marketability of its own athletes to their advantage, never invested any effort at all into their own sport, the sport that had delivered them their revenue stream from the membership growth that was a direct result of the publicity and profile of the ironmen and women. Instead they chose to use that revenue to further their own greed and interests, growing their staff and property expenses and overhead. Never stopping to reinvest in the sport and the athletes that gave them everything. And now they continue to blame lack of sponsorship investment, and even yet still continue to do nothing to market the sport themselves and secure the sponsorships that would provide the investment they never cease to complain about not having. One might think they would have learned by now? Apparently not. SLSA is forcing this IronX on its athletes based on a claim that the sport is dying. As if they aren’t directly and predominantly at fault for the sport never regaining the stature it reached during the 90’s. But SLSA is forgetting one vital thing – the ATHLETES are the sport, not the governing body. When athletes stand united as one, they can be the crucible for change. You want to ask yourselves, right now – who stands to gain from this farce? Who has something to lose?