ISA Launches Adaptive Surf Instructor Certification Program

Posted - News Posted for ISA News, World Surfing News.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is pleased to announce the launch of an Adaptive Surf Instructor Certification Program that will create a global standard, guidelines, and best practices to instruct adaptive surfers.

Recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the International Federation for Para Surfing, also known as Adaptive Surfing, the ISA has taken an active role in the worldwide development, promotion and structure of the sport.  This program is part of the ISA’s ongoing effort to create a global platform for universal access to the sport and enable Para Surfers to achieve sporting excellence and inspire others. 

A young adaptive surfer catches waves at a clinic prior to the ISA World Para Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA

A young adaptive surfer catches waves at a clinic prior to the ISA World Para Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA

While the competitive element of Para Surfing is a rapidly growing aspect of the sport, the Adaptive Surf Instructor Program focuses on broader inclusion and grassroots development. The Certification Course will ensure that those who are engaged in Adaptive Surf Instruction and Therapy worldwide will be adequately trained and have the necessary knowledge and skillset to improve the skills of adaptive surfers. 

As a result, surf schools will be enabled to employ certified adaptive surf instructors and widen their surf lesson offerings to more surfers with physical, mental, cognitive, and behavioral health disabilities. Overall, this course will contribute to a safer environment for Adaptive Surfing instruction and therapy worldwide.

The program will be officially launched via a virtual delivery from December 7-11, 2020, offered to those that have prior experience instructing Adaptive Surfing and involvement with an Adaptive Surfing or Surf Therapy program. The course, which includes both the ISA Surf Level 1 and Adaptive Surf Instructor course will be presented by ISA Presenters Dana Cummings and Benjamin Clifford. 

To learn more about the course and register, click here

The ISA developed the program in partnership with AmpSurf, Surfability UK, and members of the global Adaptive Surfing community and with support by the Foundation for Global Sports Development.

Adaptive Surfing is a form of surfing that meets the needs of those living with, or experiencing conditions or disabilities that require them to use specialized equipment or assistance to access the water and surf. This includes those living with physical, mental, cognitive, and/or behavioral health disabilities and conditions.

The ISA launched a global movement to develop the sport with the first-ever ISA World Para Surfing Championship in 2015, which has grown to host 140 athletes from 24 nations.

Adaptive Surf clinic instructors and participants celebrate the opening of the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Adaptive Surf clinic instructors and participants celebrate the opening of the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: 

“Surfing has the power to heal and bring joy to the lives of those it touches. In our mission to make the world a better place through surfing — we are working to break down barriers to accessibility and to enhance opportunities for people of all abilities to experience the thrill of riding a wave.

“Adaptive Surfing is a strategic priority for us and a key area of growth where we are committed to opening new doors to people who never thought surfing was possible, from the grassroots level to elite National and World Championships.

“The ISA’s new certification program is another important milestone in ensuring that there is a global standard for safety, instruction, and development so we can help the discipline flourish equally throughout our 108 member nations.”

Founder and President of AmpSurf, Dana Cummings, said:

“AmpSurf has been teaching adaptive surfers and training instructors for 18 years. We are excited and proud to continue advancing the sport through our strong partnership with the ISA and SurfAbilityUK. We have all worked hand-in-hand to develop this comprehensive course offering, gathering experts and stakeholders around the globe to create a valuable course to efficiently grow and develop the sport and allow those living with disabilities to experience Adaptive Surf Therapy.

“AmpSurf is also doing our part to open access to a wider audience by providing scholarships for military veterans to attend the course. We are looking forward to spreading our knowledge to all the adaptive communities around the world.”

About the International Surfing Association:

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).