Dear Friend of surfing,
Tomorrow, June 20th, we celebrate surfing. We celebrate something that we really love and enjoy. But as in any true love, our love for the sport of surfing should be demonstrated each day. We should take the time to enjoy the waves, the ocean, the beaches, but we also should be defenders of the health and integrity of the ocean, so that it, too, can have a long and healthy life.
For thousands of years, human beings saw the ocean as something endless and eternal, a symbol of something indestructible. Nowadays we have a better understanding that that’s not the way it is. It is very big, but it’s also very fragile. For thousands of years we have been destroying and polluting it and thereby shortening its healthy life. But the last decades have been especially destructive. Like Jacques Cousteau used to say: “It’s very likely that in our generation we will see the ocean turn into an empty and polluted body of water”… Unless we do something about it and change our relationship with it.
Surfers have the good fortune of being one of the human groups that enjoy the ocean the most and destroy it the least, but we are also part of the problem – especially if we allow its degradation and pollution in any way. It’s up to us to educate ourselves on how to become part of the solution rather than continuing to be part of the problem. This process starts in our homes with our leaky faucets, broken toilets, cars that leak oil or grease, wastewater from our washing machines, or whatever. Remember that most everything we see on the streets eventually ends up in the ocean.
This means that everywhere we go – from school to the office to the work place, in the public or private sector – there’s something we can do. A more moderate and less selfish use of nature signifies simply that more nature will be available to more people for a greater length of time.
It is water, including that of the ocean, which makes the biggest difference between our planet and the rest of the planets of the solar system. That’s the reason there is life here. That’s why our planet is so special. We should demonstrate our true love for this world by taking care, preserving, and preventing our oceans from continuing to be the silent victims. Let’s all be guardians of the ocean. Let’s all get educated about the ocean. Let’s all be lovers of its health. But especially, let’s use it in ways that honor its existence. It depends on us. The ocean gave us life. Now it’s our time to make sure that the ocean’s life remains a good one.
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, 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).