International Surfing Association appoints Anthony Vela as StandUp Paddle Strategic Advisor

March 31st, 2022

International Surfing Association appoints Anthony Vela as StandUp Paddle Strategic Advisor

La Jolla, California, USA – March 31 2022

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today announced the appointment of industry veteran Anthony Vela as the organization’s new Strategic Advisor on StandUp Paddle (SUP).

Vela brings a wealth of international SUP experience to the ISA having been an elite athlete, coach, commentator and organizer.  More recently he has been the ISA Race Director for the 2018 and 2019 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships as well as the same role for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru where SUP was under the responsibility of the ISA.

SUP continues to be a priority sport for the ISA as the organization is responsible for governance of SUP globally at an Olympic level. Vela will now work closely with ISA Vice-President and multiple SUP World Champion, Casper Steinfath, and the broader ISA leadership to further enhance the investment in SUP and ensure its continued worldwide development and promotion.

Commencing with immediate effect, Vela will support to drive forward the ISA’s SUP strategy, which includes competition formats, course designs and event scheduling. This involves maximizing the global profile of the 2022 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship (ISA WSUPPC) and ensuring the successful delivery of the event. The 2022 ISA WSUPPC host destination and dates will also be announced soon.

Working alongside ISA Executive Director, Robert Fasulo, and other ISA staff, Vela will additionally help in the technical management of SUP competitions when they are a part of a multi-sport event, for example at the forthcoming 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. He will also help the ISA explore new SUP events and formats to further accelerate the growth of SUP and increase its global appeal.

Through his new role, Vela will also look to enhance the competitive rules for SUP and assist in the process to select event judging panels and race officials.

Anthony Vela in open waters.

Anthony Vela, ISA SUP Strategic Advisor, said:

“I am stoked to support the ISA team and to continue to contribute to the global development of SUP as a surfing discipline.  The potential for SUP on a global stage is huge and I have been thrilled to be a part of the ISA’s efforts to promote the sport at the World Championships and Pan Am Games.  I am excited for what the future holds and look forward to getting to work.”

Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:

“SUP is hugely important for the ISA as we continue our program of investment and promotion to develop the sport globally.  I am really happy to have someone of Anthony’s caliber and experience on our team and have no doubt he will make a big impact on our efforts.

“The global SUP community can look forward to great events in 2022 and, following surfing’s successful Olympic debut in Tokyo, the ISA is investing in our long-term plan to now see SUP included in the Olympic Program. Anthony’s extensive expertise and experience will help us along this journey and ensure we deliver the best SUP events for all athletes and fans.

“The global SUP board market is now estimated at USD 1.5 Billion and is forecast to surpass USD 3.8 Billion by 2032. This means we are in a prime position to help take SUP to the next level of mass appeal as we see interest in the sport surge – especially amongst young people in many new and different markets.”

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