ISA technical director Eric Krammer, left, says surfing's Olympic inclusion is inspiring a higher level of competition ©ISA

International Surfing Association (ISA) technical director Eric Krammer has said getting the sport into the Olympic Games is "huge" and that it is inspiring athletes to compete at a higher level.

Speaking to insidethegames at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships here in Huntington Beach in California, Krammer said "everybody’s goal" is to reach the Games at Tokyo 2020.

"Getting into Tokyo is you know, huge for the sport of surfing," he said.

"It's wonderful that ISA and Fernando Aguerre [the ISA President] have dedicated so much time and effort over the last decades to get where we're at today.

"And I think it's raising the level of surfing competitions around the world.”

Taking place today at Huntington Beach have been round four heats across the boys' and girls' competition at under-18 and under-16 level.

In total 362 surfers are taking part in the event from 44 different countries, making it the biggest World Junior Championships yet.

Krammer said that from the very bottom level of the sport, the ambition of competing in the Olympics is driving everyone to perform at their best.

"Starting at the very base of that pyramid that would just be your local, at the beach contest," he added.

England's Seth Morris said competing in the Olympics was the
England's Seth Morris said competing in the Olympics was the "ultimate goal" ©ISA

"Those kids reach that next level which is then your smaller contests that are under those national governing bodies and it just kind of goes up.

"Everybody's goal at the end is to reach that next level and that next level to the next level, and the Olympics is the very top."

One of those to agree was England's Seth Morris, who earlier today made it through the fourth repechage round in the boys' under-18 category.

"Yeah I agree with that because now that it's in the Olympics, everyone has upped their level," he said.

"To compete in the Olympics would be the best competition.

"It's the ultimate goal to be an Olympian as a competitive athlete."

Morris added his hope is that a greater spotlight on surfing could lead to more funding for the sport.

"I think it's great for the sport of surfing that it's now in the Olympics, especially now that it's going to be a lot more promotion of the sport, and hopefully more money goes into it, funding, so that it becomes bigger and better," he said.

"I think it's a great sport.

"I think once everyone sees how good it is they're going to really like it and they're going to really catch on to it."

Surfing was added to the sports programme for Tokyo 2020 in August 2016.

It was one of five new sports included, alongside baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing, to try and improve the youth appeal of the Games.