Story highlights

The World Surf League (WSL) announces equal pay for men and women

The first US-based global sports league to implement pay parity

Three-time women's champion Carissa Moore thrilled with "huge deal"

CNN  — 

From breaking waves to bridging the gap in equal pay, world surfing has set the standard for other sports to follow.

The World Surf League (WSL) has announced it will offer equal prize money to both men and women from 2019, making it the first US-based global sports league to apply pay parity.

After announcing the decision, which will be implemented across all elite tour events next season, the WSL said it was, “proud of its commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone”.

Three-time world champion Carissa Moore said she was shocked but added it is “huge for the sport of surfing and women in general.”

“The WSL has done so much for us as women over the past few years,” she told CNN Sport.

“For this to happen is a huge deal. It’s more just the statement that it makes to be recognized on that level and to be respected as elite athletes alongside the men.”

World No.1 Stephanie Gilmore said: “When I was told there was going to be equal pay for men and women, I pretty much cried.”