Recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world federation for surfing sport, the International Surfing Association (ISA) operates out of La Jolla, California, USA.
President Fernando Aguerre (ARG) was first elected to head up the ISA in 1994 and has since been re-elected eight times.
Surfing-sport is popular worldwide. Currently there are 93 competing nations spanning 5 continents who are official members of the ISA.
The ISA organises World Championships in: surfing (Junior, Masters and the World Surfing Games); stand up paddling (SUP) and paddleboarding; longboarding; kneeboarding; adaptive surfing (disability) and bodyboarding.
The first ever World Championships were held in 1964 on Manly Beach, Australia even though the origins of surfing are attributed to Hawaiian and Polynesian culture centuries before.
“Along with its World Championship Series, the ISA works to develop global surfing by providing educational programs in the areas of Judging and Officiating; Coaching and Instructing; Surf School Accreditation; Adapted Surfing; and also provides an ISA Individual Scholarship Program for Junior (under-18) surfers.” ISA Mission Statement
Surfing is one of eight finalist-sports for inclusion into the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games; a final decision will be made at the IOC Session in August 2016 after the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“With its youthful values and engagement, surfing has incredible global appeal and a unique and modern blend of high performance, style and culture - traits which we believe would add huge value to Tokyo 2020." President Aguerre
It would be major milestone for paddlesports if surfing is admitted into the 2020 Olympic programme because stand up paddling could feature as one of the disciplines on the surfing schedule. Events held could include: SUP surfing (providing beachbreak competitions are chosen over wave machines/pools); ocean-racing; technical racing; and flatwater sprint and marathon.