On International Surfing Day the ISA celebrates the impact of surfers across the world in supporting their communities throughout the Covid pandemic
The International Surfing Association (ISA) today celebrates International Surfing Day – an annual occasion that showcases the sport’s unique culture, youthful appeal, global reach and environmental awareness.
Past years’ celebrations had included activities such as paddle outs and beach clean-ups, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the great challenges the world has faced together, this year the day took on extra significance.
This year, as well as celebrating the sport, the day was a chance for us to recognise all the acts of kindness, leadership, and care for others shown by surfers to help within their communities during the global crisis.
Surfers around the world have been coming out in force to help those most in need. For example, ISA Scholarship winner and SUP competitor Tanvi Jagadish volunteered to help food packing distribution and cleaning beaches in her region of India. Similarly, in El Salvador, Puro Surf, the surf academy of ISA Course Presenter Marcelo Castellanos, has been organizing the local surfing community to distribute meals to those in need.
In South Africa, Shuan Solomons, a surfing coordinator, provided food to the community of Vrygrond with a team of young surfers. Colombian pro-surfer Simon Salazar has been collecting donations to help families affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic. Similar stories can be seen in Costa Rica and Venezuela, where Jair Perez, who has competed in the ISA world championships and former pro women’s surfer Adriana Cano, respectively, have answered the call for help to feed families hit hard by the economic downturn.
Arak Amornsupasiri (Pae), a famous Thai musician, song writer, model, accomplished actor and a great surfer performed live concerts from his house on social media to his fans to help them deal with the stress of being in lockdown.
Surfing fans across the world joining in with the festivities have been encouraged to share their celebrations as well as heartwarming stories, images and videos on social media using the hashtags #ISD20, #InternationalSurfingDay, and #ABetterWorldThroughSurfing.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“International Surfing Day this year has taken on even more importance and is not just a chance to celebrate our sport, but to recognise the generosity and gestures of kindness from the surfing community across the world.
“The pandemic has disrupted so much of our normal way of life and with many countries still facing challenges with the virus, the togetherness and strength shown by communities to help those most in need throughout this period was inspiring to see. However, we are still far from the end, and the commitment that these surfers have shown to making a better world will continue to be a great asset in their communities moving forward.
“The stories of surfers tirelessly supporting people most in need are a testament to the values and ethos embodied in surfing. They are a credit to our sport and we are immensely proud of their efforts which speak to our mission of A Better World Through Surfing.”
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, Para 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; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.
Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).