Tahara in Japan will host the 2018 World Surfing Games ©NSA

Japanese city Tahara has been announced as the host of the 2018 World Surfing Games.

The city has been chosen by the International Surfing Association (ISA) which has also awarded the 2018 World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship to Buzios in Brazil.

Tahara's selection means a major surfing event will be held in Japan two years before the sport makes its Olympic debut in the country at Tokyo 2020. 

Located around 300 kilometres from Tokyo on Honshu island, the city will tentatively host the World Surfing Games between September 15 and 22 with full gender equality promised for the first time.

Japan also hosted this year's World Junior Championships in Hyuga.

The selection of Buzios for the flagship SUP and paddleboard event means Brazil will stage the competition for the first time ever.

Tentative dates of between November 23 and December 1 have been set with the ISA keen to promote the non-Olympic disciplines so they too may one day join the Games programme. 

"We are excited to announce excellent locations for two of our major events in 2018," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

"Brazil and Japan are symbolic of the historic inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games, as the official vote to include surfing in the Olympic sports programme took place in Brazil, and Japan will be where surfing makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Japanese waters hosted this year's World Junior Championship ©NSA
Japanese waters hosted this year's World Junior Championship ©NSA

"We are expecting the world's best surfers will be looking to get a leg up on their competition in riding the wave to Tokyo 2020. 

"The momentum and anticipation around the surfing competitions in Tokyo is growing every day. 

"Bringing our flagship event back to Japan just two years before the Games will surely add to that excitement.

"On top of this, bringing the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship to Brazil, one of the world's top surfing and SUP markets, will provide a great opportunity for the growth and development of the sport. 

"The Brazilian Minister of Sport, Leonardo Picciani, has given the event his blessing and full support to grow the sport of SUP and contribute to the economic development of the region.

"We have experienced great success for SUP with inclusion in major multi-sport events and will continue to lead SUP down the correct path with the goal of Olympic inclusion in the Paris 2024 Games."

Aguerre has previously played down fears about a perceived lack of waves for surfing in Japan, while a row on who should govern SUP and paddleboard is ongoing with the International Canoe Federation. 

"The ISA World Surfing Games are an excellent platform to display the world-class waves, beauty, and culture of Japan to a global audience," said Nippon Surfing Association President Atsushi Sakai. 

"We are looking forward to welcoming the world's best surfers to experience the waves and hospitality that we have to offer.

The 2018 World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship has been awarded to Buzios in Brazil ©CBS
The 2018 World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship has been awarded to Buzios in Brazil ©CBS

"With the event to take place less than two years out from Tokyo 2020, it will be a precursor to the high-performance Olympic surfing and surely will feature multiple stars of the sport who will become the first Olympic surfers."

Picciani said the award to Brazil gave him "great pleasure".

"It is with great pleasure that the city of Armacao dos Buzios hosts the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship," he said.

"We are strongly interested in the organisation of the event and in building relationships that can contribute to the delivery of this Championship in the city of Buzios, considering that the area is naturally devoted to the practice of water sports and is home to many high-performance athletes in various disciplines.

"This Ministry considers it essential to carry out events of this size in the city, which is important not only for the development of the sport, but also for the economic development of the entire region."