In a noon tweet today, the World Surf League announced that it would pay women and men equally for all of their events across the globe in 2019. The league has the rights to the Mavericks surf contest and promises to include women in its next event off the San Mateo County coast.
"We are pleased to announce that from 2019, equal prize money will be awarded to male and female athletes across all WSL controlled events," the organization wrote on Twitter. "The WSL is proud to be the first American-based global sports league to offer gender pay equality."
The organization had been under increasing pressure to pay men and women the same since acquiring the rights to Mavericks in 2017. Earlier this summer the California Coastal Commission and the State Lands Commission indicated their separate permits for the event would mandate pay equity as a requirement. Last month, the WSL withdrew its permit application after the requirement became public.
The Mavericks surf contest window is due to open Nov. 1, though permitting questions remain.
It is unusual, though not unheard of, for female professional athletes to make as much money as their male counterparts in America and elsewhere. Female soccer players, basketball players and hockey players, among others, have led efforts for greater pay equity in their respective sports.