About the ISA

About the ISA

What is 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 116 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), Jean-Luc Arassus (FRA) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Kimifumi Imoto (JPN) and Jakob Færch (DEN) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in Cardiff, California (USA).


Mission, vision, values & strategic objectives


To make a better world through surfing and to promote, develop and lead surfing in all its forms worldwide while connecting the global surfing community and driving accessibility and universal participation.


Spreading the lifelong culture and values of surfing and standup paddling through competition, healthy living, self-fulfillment and a connection to the environment.


Integrity: Commitment to fairness, accountability and the highest standards of excellence.
Passion: For the water, the waves, our common humanity and the continual search for the perfect ride.
Innovation: At the leading edge of human expression, creativity and sporting performance.
Respect:  For each other, for surfing’s history and for the environment in which we play and perform.


  1. To establish and maintain an international association to promote the interests of surfing in all its forms throughout all countries of the world, to which all recognized NFs concerned with the sport of Surfriding, Surfing or its related activities, may gain affiliation;
  2. To encourage the formation of NFs in individual countries, nations or territories not yet members of the ISA, thus increasing membership worldwide;
  3. To promote and co-ordinate the activities of NFs within their own jurisdiction;
  4. To establish rules, criteria and standards for judging at, and for conducting international contests for Surfing. These measures shall, inter alia, apply to the sport of Surfing, to those participating in it, and to the dimensions, design, size and type of surfboard or equipment when used in international competition;
  5. To promote uniformity of rules for the regulation of Surfing and Surfriding throughout the world, by encouraging NFs to adopt the ISA’s established rules and standards;
  6. To co-ordinate the international activities of NFs by providing a forum for arranging international contests;
  7. To organize and/or authorize a Member and/or third party to host the World Surfing Championships, World Surfing Games and any other international events as decided by the ISA;
  8. To work for the conservation and improvement of coastal environments and the protection of Surfing resources worldwide;
  9. To promote the values of good sportsmanship,non-discrimination of any form, gender equality, cultural tolerance and healthy living, particularly amongst the younger generation of Surf Sports athletes of the world;
  10. To promote the educational, scientific, literary and charitable aspects of the Surf Sports, improving cultural and sporting contacts between the Surfing nations of the world;
  11. To govern and regulate Surfing and SUP in the Olympic Games and other international, continental and regional multi-sports events;
  12. To purchase, acquire, sell, deal in, build, construct or reconstruct, take on lease or in exchange or otherwise acquire or dispose of any movable, immovable, corporeal or incorporeal property anywhere in the world; and
  13. To enter into any contract, association or negotiation for the purpose of giving effect to any of the aforementioned objects.
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