Opening Ceremony Officially Kicks Off the 2023 ISA World Longboard Championship in Surf City El Salvador

May 7th, 2023

World Longboard Championship returns with record numbers and new national teams

The fourth major ISA event to be held in Surf City El Salvador officially opens

The 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Longboard Championship (WLC) officially began today with a joyful Opening Ceremony held directly in front of the competition location at El Sunzal.

Team spirit was strong as 118 of the world’s best longboarders, representing 33 national teams, gathered to celebrate the event, with competition starting tomorrow morning. Both the number of athletes and number of nations are records for the ISA World Longboard Championship.

Opening Ceremony. Photo: Jersson Barboza

As is tradition, a member from each nation poured sand from their local beach into a single container for the Sands of the World Ceremony, a symbol of the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through surfing.

The flags of four national teams appeared for the first time at the WLC. American Samoa, Guam, Iran and Morocco are each bringing fresh participants to the international stage.

Celebrating their 15th anniversary, the National Dance Company of El Salvador provided a beautiful cultural performance to welcome each of the athletes.

Dignitaries present included El Salvador Tourism Minister Morena Valdez, El Salvador National Olympic Committee President Armando Bruni, Director General of the National Sports Institute of El Salvador René Martinez, and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo.

Team El Salvador. Photo: Pablo Franco

El Salvador Tourism Minister, Morena Valdez said:

“Welcome to Surf City El Salvador, the home of the right surf! Thanks to the support of President Bukele, we have shown that surfing is now the number one sport in El Salvador. With the success of these Championships and past ISA events, we have seen how important this has been for all the communities involved.

“Thank you to Bob, to Fernando and to the ISA for trusting El Salvador in 2019 to show the world that we have the best waves.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“Longboarding, one of the oldest surfing disciplines, going back to the 19th century, is still alive and very well and healthy. The quality and amount of incredible competitors this week will prove that to everybody.

“The ISA has asked the International Olympic Committee for the inclusion of Longboarding in the 2028 LA Olympic Games, following the success of Tokyo and the very strong performance that surfing will have in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“These are wonderful times to be a surfer. But being a surfer means that we need to be ambassadors of the oceans, to look after the environment, to be good mentors and to take care of everything that surrounds us.

“President Nayib Bukele, Minister Morena Valdez and all the El Salvador government and staff and the people of El Salvador, thank you for opening your hearts to all of us. We really appreciate how you have transformed El Salvador, this wonderful surf destination and this country that is serving as a wonderful example to many other places in the world.”

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