International Surfing Association celebrates 50th anniversary

December 18, 2013 | Surfing
Eduardo Arena and Fernando Aguerre: the founder and the current president of ISA

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary, in 2014.

The ISA began as an institution created to organize world surfing championships and to crown the world's best surfers as world champions.

With 78 National Federations as members, the ISA has grown over the last 50 years to be recognized by the IOC as the world's governing authority for surfing, standup paddle (SUP) racing and surfing, bodysurfing, wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves and on flat water using wave riding equipment.

ISA's first president was Peruvian Eduardo Arena, who attended the inaugural World Surfing Championship, in 1964, held at Manly Beach, Australia.

"We continue advocating to fulfill Duke Kahanamoku's dream of surfing as an Olympic Sport. Today, there are over 35 million surfers in more than 100 countries globally", says Fernando Aguerre, the ISA president, who has been leading the organization since 1994.

"The ISA has had an active role in the consolidation of surfing in North America and Europe, the surfing boom in Latin America over the last decade, and it is now playing the leading role in developing the sport throughout Africa and Asia".

The ISA headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. In 2014, surfing's governing body will award commemorative Gold Medals to all past ISA world Champions, at a special gala event.