ISA President Fernando Aguerre celebrates International Surfing Day with his family, friends and Surfing enthusiasts in his home town of Mar Del Plata, Argentina. This picture was taken just moments before paddling out in Mar del Plata’s cold winter water.
La Jolla, California, June 21, 2014 – The International Surfing Association [ISA] yesterday celebrated International Surfing Day – the annual occasion that showcases the sport’s unique culture, youthful appeal, worldwide popularity and its environmental and sustainability principles.
As it is the ISA’s 50th anniversary this year, the global celebration in 2014 was also a way to express Surfing’s dedication to the Olympic spirit, highlighting the sport’s shared values of excellence, friendship and respect to honor Olympic Day on Monday, June 23, 2014.
In honor of International Surfing Day, young children surfed for the first time with free surf lessons at Muizenberg Beach, South Africa during an event organized by Hurley and ISA Member, Surfing South Africa.
As part of the International Surfing Day celebrations, and to honor 2014 Olympic Day appropriately, the ISA encouraged its 84 National Federations, surfers, fans of all ages and other relevant stakeholders to host group Surfing activities for communities across towns, on beaches and in oceans.
More than 200 International Surfing Day events, activities and festivals were held yesterday across six continents and in more than 30 countries, including South Africa, Brazil, United States, South Korea, Australia and the UK. In Switzerland, a land-locked nation, a Surfing exhibition was established with stand-up paddle lessons and a beach clean-up in Montreux.
Across the world, other activities included organizing ‘paddle-outs’ whereby surfers paddle out and form a large floating circle to celebrate friendship, life and Surfing. Surfing fans captured their International Surfing Day celebrations across multiple social media platforms by publishing Surfing stories, images and videos using the hashtags #ISD14 and #LoveSurfing that also had messages of support for Olympic Day and Surfing’s ambition to become an Olympic sport.
In Morocco, the Wave Riders Association of Afghanistan, made a special video in honor of International Surfing Day and Hurley South Africa gave free surf classes to youngsters at Muizenberg Beach – giving many of the children their first Surfing experience.
International Surfing Day received excellent levels of fan engagement across various social media platforms. Millions of people around the world interacted by posting pictures of their experience. One of the most popular posts on Instagram by GoPro [@GOPRO] received over 100,000 likes.
The overall social media statistics reaffirm Surfing’s worldwide reach, high levels of fan and stakeholder engagement and the power of the global Surfing community to back the sport’s cause to join the Summer Olympic programme.
In celebration of International Surfing Day, Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, also organized and attended a Surfing festival in his hometown of Mar Del Plata in Argentina. The event included a paddle-out, a beach clean-up and live entertainment in the form of music and dancing. Additionally, in California, the ISA organized its own beach clan-up and paddle-out with all staff members participating in the beach celebration before commencing work.
Speaking in Mar Del Plata, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We have seen this week the incredible support for Surfing around the world. Our sport is intrinsically youthful and this is clearly shown by the levels of engagement on social media by surfers, fans and other stakeholders on International Surfing Day. We will now look to channel this momentum as we look forward to Olympic Day.
“With our young fans, the international calendar of major Surfing events and our star Surfing competitors, the sport uniquely connects with the public via powerful social media platforms – we are at the frontier of youth engagement at a time when this is vital for the Olympic Movement.
“The values of Olympism – excellence, fair play and respect – are embedded in Surfing’s culture and it is these values and the sport’s unique ethos that make Surfing a true sport for all. These are the attributes that we will continue to promote as we continue on our path towards Olympic inclusion.”
ISA World SUP Racing Champion, Casper Steinfath, celebrates ISD, “I hope everyone had a happy and super fun International Surfing Day yesterday! Surfing and the Ocean means the world to me and I can’t wait to be back in the waves soon and share the surfing stoke with everyone!”, said Steinfath in his social media outlets.
“Play clean, drug free”
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 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).