Pismo Beach, California to Host 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship

July 12th, 2021
Costa Rica’s Henry Martinez competes in the visually impaired (VI-1) division at the 2020 edition. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans


World’s best para surfers to go for Gold December 7-11

Pismo Beach joins as Title Sponsor, AmpSurf continues support of the global Para Surfing movement

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is delighted to announce that the 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship will take place in Pismo Beach, California, USA from December 7-11. The sixth edition of the event will gather the world’s best para surfers to compete and display their talents in a Paralympic-style, World Championship competition.

The City of Pismo Beach, located on California’s central coast halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, will join forces with the ISA as the Title Sponsor of the event to support the ISA’s mission to make a better world through surfing and showcase their coastline as a surf destination.

AmpSurf, which partnered with the ISA for the historic 2020 edition of the World Para Surfing Championship, will continue their partnership with the ISA as the event’s host organization.

As a leader in Adaptive Surf Therapy since 2003, AmpSurf has impacted the lives of countless people with disabilities and their families through its programs. In addition, AmpSurf collaborated with the ISA and several organizations on the development and roll-out of an international standard adaptive surf instructor certification program which over 100 instructors from more than 20 countries have participated in to date. This highlights the ISA’s development efforts at a grassroots level and desire to increase participation of the sport across the globe.

USA’s Liv Stone celebrates her Gold Medal performance in 2020. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the International Federation for Para Surfing, the ISA has taken an active role in the development of Para Surfing to create a global platform for universal access to the sport and enable para surfers to achieve sporting excellence and inspire others.

Since the ISA launched the ISA World Para Surfing Championship (formerly called the World Adaptive Surfing Championship) in 2015, the sport has experienced rapid growth across all continents of the globe. The effort to make Para Surfing a widely and regularly practiced sport has been propelled by the ISA’s encouragement of its network of 109 member nations to adopt Para Surfing as an official discipline and host national and regional competition opportunities and the development of a Para Surfing Classification system in line with IPC requirements.

Lisa Franks can’t hide her smile during her participation in the 2020 AmpSurf ISA Para Surf Clinic. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

In 2020, a record-breaking 120 athletes from 22 countries participated in the event, showcasing the year over year explosion of growth and development in the sport.

2020 also saw records in women’s participation in the event, building on the ISA’s mission and commitment to promoting gender equality in surfing across all its disciplines.

The World Para Surfing Championship is a team competition where athletes compete individually earning points for their nations. The team that accrues the highest point totals from each individual is crowned the Team World Champion. Athletes are assessed based on strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination to group surfers with similar impairments into one of nine Para Surfing Sport Classes.

22 nations unite in peace through para surfing at the Opening Ceremony in 2020. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The ISA is proud to continue the tradition and legacy of this World Championship. We have opened doors for people with physical challenges all around the world who never thought that surfing was possible to experience the joy of the sport. This world championship has shown that these athletes are competing at a world class level and showcasing their talents.

“This global event is a key pillar to our strategy to make the world a better place through surfing. Making sure that the ocean is accessible to all is crucial. Surfing has a therapeutic, healing power and it is our duty to allow an opportunity to experience the sport for all who are interested.

“The level of competition has been rising year after year, and we truly believe that the sport deserves a spot on the program for the Paralympic Games. We will continue to lobby for its inclusion and push for the sport’s growth so these world class athletes can get a chance to compete on the world’s greatest platform for para sports.”

Mayor of Pismo Beach Ed Waage said:

“We are excited to welcome the world to Pismo Beach and be the Title Sponsor of the Pismo Beach World Para-Surfing Championship hosted by AmpSurf. Being a part of this event is yet another reason why we are “Classic California.”

Founder and President of AmpSurf, Dana Cummings, said:

“AmpSurf is honored to be working with the ISA, the City of Pismo Beach and our community to host and bring the pinnacle event of Para-surfing to our home break, where we started teaching Adaptive surfing nearly 20 years ago. AmpSurf has always been about getting people to focus on their abilities and this event is what para-surfers around the globe focus on as the goal to compete in.”

To learn more about Para Surfing, visit our website.



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