The International Surfing Association (ISA) is continuing to spur the global development of StandUp Paddle (SUP) with the certification of over 150 ISA SUP instructors across 12 countries since April 2016.
Instructors were certified in countries including Brazil, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Belgium and Hong Kong, highlighting the universal appeal and access that has fueled the growth of the sport in recent years.
SUP Courses are part of the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program, which is designed to establish an industry standard of safety, quality and efficacy for SUP and surf instructors around the world. With a special emphasis on safety, the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program teaches risk management, duty of care and water safety, along with the practical skills and knowledge to properly instruct others.
From May 27-29, British ISA Course Presenter Andy Joyce held an ISA Flat Water SUP Course in Switzerland on Lake Leman, the same shores that host the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee. Photo: Swiss Stand Up Paddle Association
The courses exemplify the ISA’s strategy to grow the sport of SUP in non-traditional markets. As countries that have little to no access to quality waves, the rivers, lakes and oceans of these countries provide their people with the opportunity to practice the sport on flat water as an alternative to SUP Surfing.
Finland, which joined the ISA in 2015, has taken advantage of the ISA Coaching and Instructing Program to further grow the sport of SUP in the country.
Jari Laakso, Vice President of the Finnish SUP and Surf Federation, said:
“The ISA Flat Water SUP Course held in May was a great success certifying 26 new instructors. We are planning another course for fall. ISA Membership has helped the sport gain huge popularity in Finland and it is by far the fastest growing watersport in the country.”
Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:
“ISA SUP courses are a key part to the global growth of the sport in both traditional and non-traditional SUP and Surfing nations. It is important that the ISA establishes the industry standard to ensure that instructors have the proper skills and knowledge.
“As the governing body of Surfing and SUP, the ISA continues to lead the charge for the growth of this young sport with the ultimate goal of inclusion in the Olympic Games. Thanks to the ISA’s efforts, SUP Racing has been included on the Sports Program of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. SUP was part of the ISA’s proposal to Tokyo 2020 and we will continue to promote the sport in the hope that it can be included on the Program for the 2024 Games.”
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 103 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).