10 Things to Know About the 2022 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship Hosted by AmpSurf

December 2nd, 2022

The 2022 Pismo Beach World Para Surfing Championship Hosted by AmpSurf (WPSC) is set to gather the world’s best Para Surfing athletes in Pismo Beach, California from December 4 – 11.

Here are the 10 things that you need to know about the upcoming competition.

Audrey Pascual - Team Spain. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

1. Record Participation

Over 180 athletes from 28 national teams will gather to compete for the coveted Team Gold medals, surpassing the previous record in 2021 and more than doubling participation at the inaugural 2015 event.

Current Team World Champions, Team USA, are back to defend their title.

2. Women’s Para Surfing On the Rise

With a record 60 women competing, women’s participation has increased by 20% at the 2022 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship hosted by AmpSurf. Women Para Surfers represent one-third of the total competitors.

Gender equity is a key priority for the ISA and this massive growth in women’s participation is a testament to the ongoing efforts to create more opportunities for women in all surfing disciplines.

3. Push for Paralympic Inclusion

The ISA applied for the inclusion of Para Surfing in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.  The application is currently being reviewed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Surfing infused the Olympic movement with excitement, youth, and a wave of positive energy following its introduction in Tokyo and Para Surfing has the potential to have the same positive, lasting impact on the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Movement.

Para Surfing has matured significantly under ISA leadership in the last seven years and ISA President Fernando Aguerre believes, “The time is right to go para surfing. We have time, we’re organized and we’ve really shown the world what surfing can do at the Olympics and particularly how we’ve pushed millennials into the Olympic Games and Olympic movement.”

With Surfing as the official Sport of the state of California and the strong surf culture, appeal, and infrastructure in LA 2028, Para Surfing presents a unique value proposition to the Paralympic Program.

A final decision on the LA2028 Paralympic Sport Program is expected in January 2023.

Read more about the Paralympics push at https://www.infobae.com/aroundtherings/articles/2022/08/05/adaptive-surfing-attempting-to-ride-wave-of-momentum-into-la28-paralympic-games/

4. Classification

The ISA has officially classified 302 para surfers with over 60 more being classified at the 2022 World Para Surfing Championship.

The goal of classification in Para Surfing is to accurately allocate the athlete into their best surf class to ensure a high level of competition and more leveled playing field, minimizing the impact of impairment on the sport performance.

Athletes will be grouped into one of 9 classifications depending on their particular physical conditions. Each classification will crown men’s and women’s World Champions.

  •     Stand 1
  •     Stand 2
  •     Stand 3
  •     Kneel
  •     Sit
  •     Prone 1
  •     Prone 2
  •     Vision Impairment 1
  •     Vision Impairment 2

Full details for each classification can be found at https://isasurf.org/learning/para-surfing/isa-para-surfing-classification/

5. Where to Watch

The live webcast will be streamed on www.isasurf.org from December 4-11. Visit isasurf.org for results, team rosters, photos, videos, and news pertaining to the competition.

6. Returning World Champions

A huge list of former World Champions will be returning to defend their titles. 12 men and 10 women who have won world titles will be present in Pismo Beach, including multiple gold medalists Alcino ‘Pirata’ Neto (BRA), Matt Formston (AUS), Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA) and Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS).

Victoria Feige (CAN) and Melissa Reid (ENG) will both be looking to become the first woman to win four gold medals, while Liv Stone (USA), Sam Bloom (AUS), Sarah Bettencourt (USA) and Alana Nichols (USA) will battle for their third.

7. Fostering Development of the Sport and Future Generations of Para Surfers

The ISA will host both the Para Surf Symposium and AmpSurf ISA Adaptive Surf Clinic to push the development of Para Surfing forward.

The ISA Para Surfing Symposium will provide key information regarding Para Surfing classification, equipment, and global development to push the growth of the sport. The symposium is open to all participants in the WPSC and streamed online for ISA Member Nations to tune in.

The AmpSurf ISA Adaptive Surf Clinic will take place on Saturday, December 3rd from 8am-12pm at Pismo Beach Pier.

The purpose of the clinic is to provide an opportunity for new athletes with physical challenges to experience the healing power and joy of surfing, receiving instruction from top athletes and instructors.

8. Social Media

The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag #ISAworlds.

Facebook: International Surfing Association
Instagram: @ISAsurfing
Twitter: @ISAsurfing
YouTube: @ISAsurfing
Tiktok: @isasurfing

9. The ISA and Pismo Beach

The ISA is excited to return to the jewel in the crown of California’s beautiful Central Coast, Pismo Beach. Through their title partnership with the ISA, Pismo Beach is thrilled, not only to be able to showcase their world-class destination for para surfing, but also help further the ISA’s mission to see para surfing included in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

10. Supporting Partners

The ISA is stoked to once again be partnering with Pismo Beach, AmpSurf and the Foundation for Global Sport Development (GSD).

The City of Pismo Beach returns for the second year as the event’s Title Partner, underlying their strong commitment to the discipline.

Founded by Pismo Beach local Dana Cummings, who is also a WPSC athlete and adaptive surf instructor certificated by ISA, AmpSurf is a non-profit organization established to Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate (PIER) all people with disabilities and their families through Adaptive Surf Therapy and other outdoor activities.

GSD has been working with the ISA since 2019 by providing grants to support the development of para surfing, including classification, coaching instruction and equipment.

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