The International Surfing Association (ISA) has expressed its delight following the announcement that Surfing will be added to the 2018 Asian Games.
Confirmed by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Surfing will feature for the first time at the 2018 edition of the continental Games held in Indonesia – becoming part of its 42 sport program.
The Asian Games commence on August 18, with the Surfing program scheduled to begin on August 22. The competition will run for ten days, with both Cimaja in Java and Krui in Sumatra cited as possible venue locations. Test events will be held at the former, with both shortboard and longboard disciplines taking place.
The ISA, which also acts as the sole international federation in charge of StandUp Paddle (SUP), has additionally held its official SUP and Surfing Instructor Symposium in Bali, Indonesia, for the past two years, and will do so again in 2017.
The announcement of Surfing’s inclusion at the Asian Games comes just six months after the ISA celebrated the sport being added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program.
At the time, ISA President Fernando Aguerre hailed the Olympic announcement as a “game-changing moment for Surfing”. This latest Asian Games announcement shows the clear international growth of the sport, and will give both the ISA and its athletes yet more exposure to national team competition in the Olympic Movement ahead of their 2020 Olympic Games debut.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, said:
“The news that Surfing will feature at the 2018 Asian Games reaffirms how far we have come as a sport following last year’s historic decision to include the sport in the 2020 Olympic program.
“These are very exciting times for the ISA. We are seeing extraordinary growth and increased popularity of the sport across the world, and the Asian Games will provide an incredible platform to further showcase Surfing and its core values to a wider audience. With a unique and modern blend of performance, style and youth culture, we aim to stage a world class competition that expresses all these positive elements of the sport.
“Our Olympic dream became a reality last year, and the entire Surfing family is excited to continue to build on this unparalleled success together.”
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).