This is the 3rd year that the Rip Curl School of Surf has hosted an ISA International Surf Coaching and Instructor Symposium here in Bali, but this year it was expanded to include three different certification programs: ISA Surf Level 1, Surf Level 2, and Flat Water SUP, with a total of 27 participants representing 13 different countries (Venezuela, France, UK, Holland, Guam, Indonesia, Italy, Greece, Norway, Russia, Spain, Brazil and USA).
The program ran from the 7th – 20th June with 3 days dedicated to the ISA Surf Level 2 course and 10 days for the ISA Surf level 1 and SUP Flat Water courses. The classroom part of the ISA Surf Level 2 course was held in the Padang-Padang meeting room at Rip Curl Bali’s Headquarters on Sunset Road, whereas the theory courses for the ISA Surf Level 1 and Flat Water SUP took place at the Prama Sanur Beach Hotel meeting room. The 2-day surf rescue course was held at the Bali Lifeguard (Balawista) Headquarters at Kuta Beach and the 5-day practical training was held at the Rip Curl School of Surf in Legian and Sanur.
Official ISA Course Presenter Jamo Borthwick was again the main presenter for the program this year. Jamo owns the Walking on Water Surf School on the Gold Coast of Australia and is a licensed provider of Surf Life Saving Queensland accreditation and qualification courses, as well as coaches a number of junior and upcoming local surfers in the Gold Coast area.
For the first time, an ISA Surf Level 2 Coaching Course was included in the program along with the ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor and ISA Flat Water SUP Instructor Courses together with the Balawista Surf Rescue Certificate and the practical training of 20 hours that are necessary obtain their certification.
The ISA Surf Level 2 Coaching course was a jam packed 3 days, where the participants were provided information on how to train surf athletes in a holistic manner. The coaches were given the knowledge and skill to enable them to successfully coach surfers from the early intermediate stage through to advanced athletes. With a wealth of coaching knowledge and experience in the room from all over the world, it was a very interactive course with lots of new information and topics discussed.
The ISA Surf Level 1 Instructor Course was another extremely mixed group, with each of the 16 participants from a different part of the world and almost all corners of the globe covered. It proved to be an excellent course with a lot of shared experiences and thoughts from all the different locations with a common goal of learning more and becoming professional internationally qualified surf instructors.
Teaching the ISA Flat Water SUP course for the first time was ISA Course Presenter Rip Curl School of Surf owner Jonni Morrison – Deaker. Jonni is an avid and experienced Stand Up Paddler who has been coaching SUP for the last 9 years in Bali. He is also the Starboard Indonesia representative and enjoys all the different disciplines of Stand Up Paddling. As an added challenge, Jonni had the program participants testing their skills on SUP race boards and surf SUPs during the program as well.
The ISA Flat Water SUP course participants were a mix of nationalities, each with unique SUP instructing desires in such locations as the Middle East, the Caribbean, Guam and Indonesia. As part of the welcome and introduction Jonni gained each candidate’s back-story to better enable him to tailor the ISA Flat Water SUP course to meet their specific needs and hold course knowledge and location analyzing exercises for each candidate. The final result meant that the candidates were better able to better prepare for their own future SUP instructing experience and share this information with the other program candidates.
The content and information of the ISA Flat Water SUP course was boosted by the many experiences of Jonni’s past SUP instructing, the many locations globally in which Jonni had SUP’ed and his continued reminder of the importance of proper SUP program preparation. Jonni explained, “Anything can happen at anytime, so being prepared is the key to all successful SUP programs.”
During final completion of the courses, Jamo said, “I’m already looking forward to our 2018 ISA Symposium where we will again be growing and developing the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program in Asia and throughout the world. We hope to add additional programs to help build and grow the professionalism of the surf Industry and the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program globally with Bali as a central base.”
Rodrigo, a Brazilian surf instructor who attended the ISA Surf Level 2 Course said, “I believe there will be a big boom in the surf industry now since surfing has become an Olympic sport. I expect this will create a new market within the industry where we can take the sport more seriously.” He added, “The course was great and I can’t wait to share my knowledge with those who want to take their surfing to the next level.”
Elena Shevchuk from Russia registered for the ISA Surf Level 2 and Flat Water SUP courses, and after the courses were complete said, “For me the ISA Surf Level 2 Course was the next step in my professional development. I’m confident now that after taken the course it will help me to organize my surf training programs in a more professional, advanced, safe and efficient way. And with the Flat Water SUP course I feel that SUP is the way to stay connected to surfing when there are no waves. It is also a great activity for water lovers in Russia and in Europe. I can see many benefits in SUP training in terms of balance, stability and strength training as well as for athletes and for recreational use among people who have limitations in time or the ability to move.”
Local surfer Soma Warsoma from Bali said, “I want to eventually get my ISA Surf Level 2 accreditation and to learn more about Surf Coaching. Obtaining my level 1 accreditation was my first step towards achieving this goal. I have my own surf school so I would also like to do the ISA Flat Water SUP and Surf Level 2 courses next year. I hope it’s possible for me to finish all the courses next year.”
As the epicenter of surfing in the SE Asian region, the island of Bali is the perfect location to host such an event, not only for its surf and beaches but also its accessibility, with an international airport and well developed tourism facilities. Continuing to offer these programs and to raise the level of surf and SUP instructing to the highest standard is the goal of both the ISA and the Rip Curl School of Surf.
Bali’s Tourism Department actively supports this program, as they need to set standards for commercial surfing activities on the island in cooperation with the Bali Lifeguard Department.
The ISA Surf and SUP Symposium was sponsored by the Rip Curl School of Surf, Rip Curl SEA, Prama Sanur Beach Hotel, Swich Sandwiches, Retro Bar & Restaurant, Beach Hut Sunblock, and Surftime Magazine, and supported by the ISA, the ASC, and the Balawista –Badung Surf Life Saving Bali.
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The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).