Classification is a process where certified Para Surfing Classifiers assess the strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination of competitive adaptive surfers in order to group the athletes with similar impairments into one of the eight Para Surfing Sport Classes.
The classification goal is to accurately allocate the athlete into a proper surf class to ensure high competition and a more leveled playing field in each surf class.
The ISA Para Surfing Classifiers begin with establishing if an athlete has an underlining health condition which can lead to an IPC approved eligible impairment.
Next, the classifier panel will assess if the impairment(s) meets the Minimum Impairment Criteria.
ISA Para Surfing has 6 Physical Para Surfing Classes and 2 Visual Sport Classes.
|2019 Para Surfing Sport Classes
|Para Surf Stand 1
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with an upper limb amputation, short stature, or congenital or impairment equivalent.
|Para Surf Stand 2
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with a below the knee amputation or congenital or impairment equivalent, short stature, or leg length difference.
|Para Surf Stand 3
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with an above the knee amputation or both lower extremity amputations or congenital or impairment equivalent.
|Para Surf Kneel
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a kneeling position with an above the knee amputation or both lower limb amputations or congenital or impairment equivalent.
|Para Surf Prone 1
||Any surfer who rides the wave in a prone position that does NOT require assistance paddling into a wave and getting back on the board safely.
|Para Surf Prone 2
||Any surfer who rides the wave in a prone position that DOES require assistance in the water, paddling into a wave, and getting back on the board safely.
|Para Surf Vision Impairment 1
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with IBSA classification Level B1.
|Para Surf Vision Impairment 2
||Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with IBSA classification Level B2 and Level B3.
|10 IPC* Approved Eligible Impairments
|Physical Body Function Impairments (5)
||Physical Body Structure Impairments (3)
||Visual Impairments (3)
|Impaired Passive Range of Motion
||IBSA Vision Impairment B1
|Impaired Muscle Power
||Leg Length Difference
||IBSA Vision Impairment B2
||IBSA Vision Impairment B3
|*IPC=International Paralympic Committee
Explanations of Terminology:
Approved underlying health conditions or medical diagnoses include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, short stature, congenital limb deficiencies, leg length differences, amputations, and vision impairments.
The 10 Paralympic eligible impairments are impaired passive range of motion, impaired muscle power, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision, and intellectual impairment. At this time, intellectual impairment is not used for Para Surfing.
There are several impairments, that although they do impair function, they are considered “Non-Eligible Impairments” for Para Surfing. Examples of non-eligible impairments include pain, hearing impairment, low muscle tone, hypermobility, joint instability, endurance, and poor respiratory functioning according to the International Paralympic Committee.
Each Para Surfing Surf Class has minimal impairment criteria for each eligible impairment. The minimal impairment criteria has been established based on the impairment being enough of an impairment that it affects the sport of surfing. For example, although amputated fingers are recognized as an impairment, missing fingers is not enough of an impairment to impact the sport of surfing. Refer to the “ISA Para Surfing Classification Rules and Regulations” published September 2019 for the listing of each minimal impairment criteria, eligible impairment, and description of each Para Surfing Class.