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International Surfing Association
Isa - logo 2021-01.png
Founded1964; 58 years ago (1964)
HeadquartersSan Diego, California, U.S.
PresidentFernando Aguerre (ARG)
Official website

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is the world governing authority for surfing, SUP racing, SUP surfing, bodyboarding and all other wave riding activities. The ISA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.[1]

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ISA banned athletes and officials from Russia from ISA events, and said the ISA would not stage events in Russia.[2]


The ISA was originally named the International Surfing Federation (ISF) between 1964 and 1973.[3] An Open Division World Championships has been contested biennially since 1964, a Junior World Championships since 1980, a Masters World Championships since 2007 and a Stand Up Paddle World Championship since 2011.[4]

Recognition as governing body of surfing

In 1982 the SportAccord, formerly known as General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), recognized the ISA as the world's governing body of surfing. in 1995 the International Olympic Committee granted the ISA provisional recognition. ISA was admitted into the Olympic movement at 1997 when the recognition was confirmed by the IOC.[5]

International Surfing Association (ISA) is a Member of:


The ISA's mission is to make a better world through surfing, which it does through crowning World Champions, surf and SUP instructor certification, worldwide membership, grassroots development, and annual scholarships awarded to surfers in need.

Olympic Surfing

Olympic Bid

The organizing committee for the 2020 Games in Tokyo announced on 22 June 2015 that surfing was among the sports shortlisted for inclusion at the 2020 Summer Olympics. On 3 August 2016, during the 129th IOC Session at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, the IOC unanimously voted to include five new sports, among them surfing, to the sports program of the Tokyo 2020 Games.[10]

Surfing was included in the Tokyo 2020 Games on a one-off basis, and the ISA now has shifted their focused towards securing surfing's inclusion in the next editions of the Olympics, including Paris 2024 and LA 2028.

Olympic Qualification Process

On 16 March 2018, the International Surfing Association (ISA) welcomed the release by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the approved qualification system for Surfing's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, ensuring the participation of the world's best professional surfers as well as promoting universal opportunities for surfers from around the world at the Games.

The key elements of the qualification system are as follows:

The hierarchical order of qualification are as follows:

  1. 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour: First 10 eligible men and first 8 eligible women.
  2. 2021 ISA World Surfing Games: First 4 eligible men and first 6 eligible women.
  3. 2019 ISA World Surfing Games: 4 men and 4 women selected based on their continent. Top finishing eligible surfer of each gender from Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
  4. 2019 Pan American Games: First eligible man and first eligible woman in the surfing competitions.
  5. Host nation slot: One man and one woman slot will be guaranteed for the host nation of Japan, unless already filled through the above hierarchies. Should athletes from Japan qualify regularly, their slots will be reallocated to the highest ranked eligible surfers from the 2021 World Surfing Games.

To see the full Qualification Process for Surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, click here.

ISA World Events

The ISA runs world events across all disciplines of surfing. ISA world events include:

ISA World Surfing Games

Main article: World Surfing Games

The ISA World Surfing Games is an Olympic style team competition that gathers National Delegations from around the world. Each team can field up to three men and three women. The surfers compete for individual medals and the coveted Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy, named for and donated by the ISA President.

The event was first held in 1964 in Manly, Australia under the name 'ISA World Surfing Championships.'

Stemming from the global growth of Surfing spurred by inclusion in the Olympic Games, the 2017 edition of the ISA World Surfing Games broke the record for country participation. The previous record was set in 1996 when 36 nations graced the shores of Huntington Beach, USA, but in Biarritz 47 countries competed, shattering the record.

Many nations had representation in the event for the first time in history in 2017, including Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, Greece, Senegal and South Korea.

ISA World Surfing Games Team Gold Medalists 2009 - 2019
Year Gold Medal Country Event location
2019 Brazil Miyazaki, Japan
2018 Japan Tahara, Japan
2017 France Biarritz, France
2016 Peru Jacó, Costa Rica
2015 Costa Rica Popoyo, Nicaragua
2014 Peru Punta Rocas [es], Peru
2013 South Africa Playa Santa Catalina, Panama
2011 Australia Playa Venao, Panama
2010 Peru Punta Hermosa, Peru
2009 USA Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
ISA World Surfing Games Gold Medalists 2013-2019
Year Division Athlete Country
2019 Open Men Italo Ferreira BRA
2019 Open Women Sofía Mulánovich PER
2018 Open Men Santiago Muñiz ARG
2018 Open Women Sally Fitzgibbons AUS
2017 Open Men Jhony Corzo MEX
2017 Open Women Pauline Ado FRA
2016 Open Men Leandro Usuna ARG
2016 Open Women Tia Blanco USA
2015 Open Men Noe Mar McGonagle CRC
2015 Open Women Tia Blanco USA
2014 Open Men Leandro Usuna ARG
2014 Open Women Anali Gomez PER
2013 Open Men Shaun Joubert RSA
2013 Open Women Dimity Stoyle AUS

ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

The ISA hosted its first World Junior Surfing Championship in 1980 in Biarritz, France, where legendary surfer Tom Curren became the first ISA World Junior Champion, helping to launch his successful career. The event was held as a division of the ISA World Surfing Games until 2003, when it was held as a stand-alone event for the first time in Durban, South Africa.

Historically, the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship has served as a glimpse into the future stars of the sport. Past ISA World Junior Champions include the 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA, 2010), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW, 2014, 2013), Filipe Toledo (BRA, 2011), Tyler Wright (AUS, 2010, 2009), Alejo Muniz (BRA, 2008), Laura Enever (AUS, 2008), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS, 2007), Julian Wilson (AUS, 2006), Owen Wright (AUS, 2006), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS, 2005, 2004), Matt Wilkinson (AUS, 2004), Jordy Smith (RSA, 2003) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA, 2015).

ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Team Gold Medalists
Year Gold Medal Country Event location
2017 USA Hyuga, Japan
2016 France Azores, Portugal
2015 USA Oceanside, California, US
2014 Hawaii Salinas, Ecuador
2013 Australia Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua
2012 Hawaii Playa Venao, Panama

ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship was created to give surfers with physical challenges an opportunity to compete and display their talents in a Paralympic-style, world-class competition.

The event has experienced unprecedented growth since the inaugural edition in 2015. The World Championship has spurred growth of the sport around the world, with nations such as France, Australia, Chile, Brazil, USA, Hawaii and South Africa holding National Championships of their own to select their National Teams to bring to California.

The 2017 edition shattered participation records with 109 athletes from 26 countries, more than a 50% increase from the inaugural edition of the event in 2015.

ISA World SUP and Paddeboard Championship

The ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship is an Olympic-style, team competition that combines the disciplines of SUP Surfing, SUP Racing and Paddleboard Racing. The athletes compete for individual gold medals and the Club Waikiki-Peru ISA World Team Champion Trophy awarded to the team that wins the gold medal.

The 2017 edition of the event was the first to feature gender equality across all divisions, reflective of the rapid growth of women's SUP racing and surfing.

Authority and Development of StandUp Paddle (SUP)

The ISA has been the organizer of the sole World Championship for SUP and Paddleboard since 2012. The event was first held in Peru (2012, 2013), with following editions held in Nicaragua (2014), Mexico (2015), Fiji (2016), and Denmark (2017).

Through development programs, scholarships for young SUP athletes, and promoting Championships at the national level, SUP has experienced explosive growth under the ISA's guidance, which can be observed in the participation levels seen in the World Championship that have nearly quadrupled since its inception.

The ISA presented both Surfing and SUP to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee for inclusion in the Olympic Sports Program. Tokyo 2020 only elected Surfing to be included in the Games and not SUP, however achievements such as inclusion in the 2019 Pan American Games and 2017 Central American Games have added momentum to the ISA's push for inclusion in the 2024 Olympics.

Executive committee

The ISA Executive Committee is composed of the ISA President, ISA Executive Director and four Vice Presidents. Its mission is to define ISA strategies and plans of action, “For a Better Surfing Future.” The executive committee works with the ISA staff throughout the year to develop future plans.

Current Executive Committee (as of April 2018):

ISA Athletes' Commission

On 24 April 2018 the ISA announced the formation of a new Athletes’ Commission to ensure that athletes’ opinions are heard at the highest level of governance in Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP), and all surf-related disciplines.[11]

France's Justine Dupont, who has medaled across three ISA disciplines (Shortboard, Longboard, and SUP), has been appointed the Chair of the commission. Dupont earned Team Gold at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games and individual Silver in SUP Surfing at the 2017 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship.

Barbara Kendall (NZL), ISA Vice President, Chair of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Athletes’ Commission, and five-time Olympian serves as the Ex Officio of the commission.

The full ISA Athletes’ Commission consists of the following members:

Chair: Justine Dupont (FRA)

Ex Officio: Barbara Kendall (NZL)



The ISA has 103 member nations.


The following table contains the ISA members:[12]

Country Member association
 Afghanistan Wave Riders Association of Afghanistan
 Algeria Djazair Surf Club (CSG Surf Section)
 Argentina Asociación de Surf Argentina (ASA)
 Aruba Aruba Surf Association (ARUSURF)
 Australia Surfing Australia
 Austria Austrian Surfing - Österreichischer Wellenreitverband
 Bahamas Bahamas Surfing Association (BASA)
 Bangladesh Surfing Bangladesh
 Barbados Barbados Surfing Association
 Belgium Belgian Surfing Federation
 Brazil Confederação Brasileira de Surf, CBSurf
 Bulgaria Bulgarian Extreme Water Sports Association
 Canada Canadian Surfing Association
 Cape Verde Skibo Surf Club
 Cayman Islands Cayman Islands Surfing Association
 Chile Asociacion Chilena de Surf
 China Chinese Extreme Sports Association
 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Surfing Association
 Colombia Asociacion Colombiana de Surf (ACS)
 Costa Rica Federación de Surf de Costa Rica
 Czech Republic Ceska Federace Stand Up Paddle (CFSUP)
 Denmark North Atlantic Surfing Association (NASA)
 Dominican Republic Federacion Dominicana de Surf (FEDOSURF)Dubai Surfing Association
 Ecuador Federación Ecuatoriana de Surf
 El Salvador Federación Salvadoreña de Surf
 England Surfing England
 Fiji Fiji Surfing Association
 Finland Finnish SUP and Surf Federation
 France Fédération Française de Surf
 Gambia Gambia Swimming and Water Sports Association
 Germany Deutscher Wellenreit Verband (DWV)
 Ghana Ghana Surfing Association
 United Kingdom Surfing Great Britain
 Greece Greek Surfing Association
 Guam Guahan Napu Inc. (Guam Surf & Bodyboard Association)
 Guatemala Guatemala Surfing Association (ASOSURF)
 Haiti Surf Haiti
 Hawaii Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association (HASA)
 Hong Kong Hong Kong Stand Up Paddle Board Association (HKSUPBA)
 Hungary Hungarian Surf Association
 India Surfing Federation of India
 Indonesia Indonesian Surfing Association
 Iran I.R. Iran Surfing Association
 Ireland Irish Surfing Association
 Israel Israel Surfing Association
 Italy Federazione Italiana Surfing (FISURF)
 Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Surfing Association
 Jamaica Jamaica Surfing Association
 Japan Nippon Surfing Association
 Kiribati Kiribati Surfing Association
 South Korea Korea Surfing Association
 Latvia Latvian Stand Up Paddle Association
 Lebanon Lebanon Surf & Sport
 Liberia Liberian Surfing Federation
 Lithuania Lithuanian Surfing Association
 Madagascar Madagascar Yachting, Rowing, Canoeing, and Surfing Squadron Federation
 Malaysia Malaysia Surfing Association
 Maldives Maldives Surfing Association
 Mexico Federación Mexicana de Surfing, A.C.
 Morocco Federation Royale Marocaine de Surf et Bodyboard (FRMSB)
 Namibia Namibia Surfing Association
 Nauru Nauru Surf Club
   Nepal Nepal National Surfing Association
 Netherlands Holland Surfing Association
 New Zealand Surfing New Zealand Inc.
 Nicaragua Nicaragua Surfing Association
 Nigeria Nigeria Surfing Federation
 Norway Norwegian Surfing Club
 Panama Asociación Panameña de Surf
 Papua New Guinea Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea
 Peru Federación Peruana de Tabla
 Philippines United Philippine Surfing Association
 Poland Polskie Stowarzyszenie Surfingu
 Portugal Federação Portuguesa de Surf
 Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Surfing Federation
 Russia Russian Surfing Federation
 São Tomé and Príncipe Canoeing and Surfing Federation of São Tomé
 Scotland Scottish Surfing Federation
 Senegal Federation Senegalaise de Surf
 Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Surfing Association
 Singapore Surfing Association Singapore
 Slovakia Slovak Surfing Association
 Slovenia Surf Zveza Slovenije
 Somalia Somali Surfing Association
 South Africa Surfing South Africa
 Spain Federeración Española de Surf
 Sri Lanka Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka
 Sweden Swedish Surfing Association
  Switzerland Swiss Surfing Association
 Tahiti Federation Tahitienne de Surf
 Thailand Surfing Thailand
 Trinidad and Tobago Surfing Association of Trinidad & Tobago
 Turkey Turkish American Sports Club
 United Arab Emirates Dubai Surfing Association
 United States USA Surfing
 United States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands Surfing Association
 Uruguay Union de Surf del Uruguay (USU)
 Vanuatu Vanuatu Surfing Association
 Venezuela Federación Venezolana de Surfing
 Wales Welsh Surfing Federation

ISA Recognized International Surfing Organizations

Honorary life members

Awards and honors

Somewhat in line with the tradition of the Olympic Games a gold, silver, bronze and copper medals are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed athletes who compete for the honor to represent their country and national colors, in the true nature of surfing's aloha spirit and fair play.[citation needed]

2014 world champions

Peru Crowned 2014 World Team Champion, Argentina's Leandro Usuna Wins The Gold Medal In Men's, Peru's Anali Gomez Wins the Gold Medal In Women's and Peru Wins The ISA Aloha Cup With Incredible Waves At Punta Rocas, Peru [14][15][16][17]

ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games

Overall team results

  1.  Peru 11,402 points, (Champion Gold Medal)
  2.  Australia - 11,340 points, (Silver Medal)
  3.  Argentina - 10,922 points, (Bronze Medal)
  4.  Costa Rica - 9,508 points, (Copper Medal)
  5.  Ecuador - 8,330 points
  6.  South Africa - 8,268 points
  7.  Chile - 7,830 points
  8.  Puerto Rico - 6,720 points
  9.  Japan - 6,540 points
  10.  Panama - 6,400 points
  11.  New Zealand - 6,352 points
  12.  Mexico - 6,340 points
  13.  Uruguay - 5,760 points
  14.  Colombia - 5,540 points
  15.   Switzerland - 4,560 points
  16.  Scotland - 3,952 points
  17.  Tahiti - 3,756 points
  18.  Russia - 3,456 points
  19.  Venezuela - 2,520 points
  20.  Israel - 2,280 points
  21.  Turkey - 1,152 points
  22.  Dubai - 720 points

Open Men

  1. . Leandro Usuna (ARG), Gold Medal
  2. . Anthony Fillingim (CRI), Silver Medal
  3. . Shane Holmes (AUS), Bronze Medal
  4. . Nicholas Squires (AUS), Copper Medal

Open Women

  1. . Anali Gomez (PER), Gold Medal
  2. . Dominic Barona (ECU), Silver Medal
  3. . Philippa Anderson (AUS), Bronze Medal
  4. . Jessica Grimwood (AUS), Copper Medal


  1. ^ ISA History Archived 2011-09-17 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 28 April 2011)
  2. ^ "International Surfing Assoc. Cuts Russian athletes, officials from events".
  3. ^, Editor at. "The complete list of world surfing champions". Surfertoday. Retrieved 18 March 2019. ((cite web)): |first= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ ISA About Archived 2011-04-26 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 28 April 2011)
  5. ^ "surfing - water sport". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ "ARISF Association of IOC Recognised International Sport Federation".
  7. ^ "Sportaccord Members". Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Member Federations - International Aikido Federation". Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  9. ^ "International Federations (IF)". World Anti-Doping Agency. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  10. ^ "ISA Thrilled by IOC Decision to Add Surfing to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games". International Surfing Association. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  11. ^ "ISA Forms New Athletes' Commission to Amplify Voice of Athletes in Lead Up to Tokyo 2020". Archived from the original on 27 April 2018.
  12. ^ "ISA Member Directory". International Surfing Association. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Member Directory". International Surfing Association. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Peru wins the ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games". Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  15. ^ "2017 ISA World Surfing Games - Biarritz, France. May 20-28". 2017 ISA World Surfing Games. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  16. ^ Carlos Escaba. "Peru Wins Team Gold at ISA's World Surfing Games - The Inertia". The Inertia. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Peru's Gomez gets gold at Claro Isa 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games". Retrieved 19 June 2015.