Para Surfing Continues to Grow as ISA Awaits IPC/LA28 decision on Paralympic Inclusion
April 25th, 2023 – The ISA is excited to announce that the 8th edition of the ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WPSC) will be held in Huntington Beach, California, November 5-11, 2023.
The highly successful and record-breaking 2022 edition of the event in Pismo Beach, California saw over 180 athletes representing 28 national teams competing across 9 different Para Surfing Sport Classes. The 2023 WPSC will no doubt see more records broken as the ISA furthers its mission to see Para Surfing included in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
In coordination with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Para Surfing is currently under consideration by the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee (LA28) for inclusion as an additional sport for the LA28 Paralympic Games. In January, the IPC Governing Board confirmed that Para Surfing has demonstrated the competitive viability and integrity of the sport, as well as the strategic benefits to the Paralympic Games.
Para Surfing has experienced substantial growth since the first ISA World Para Surfing Championship in 2015 (originally titled the World Adaptive Surfing Championship). During that period, the ISA has continued to refine the Para Surfing Classification system in line with IPC requirements and encouraged its network of 113 member nations to host national and regional competitions.
Women’s involvement has been increasing at a significant rate each year, making up a full third of the field in 2022. Gender equality is a pillar of the ISA’s mission, and the organization is invested in further promoting gender equity in each surfing discipline.
Huntington Beach has played a historic role for the sport of surfing, having hosted many major surfing events. The 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship will be the eighth major ISA event held in ‘Surf City USA’ after the city hosted four editions of the ISA World Surfing Games in 1984, 1996, 2006, and 2022, as well as the ISA World Juniors in 2005, 2018 and 2019.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“Our biggest hope and dream is to celebrate Para Surfing’s inclusion in LA28 Paralympic Games during the World Championship.
“I am so excited to see the world’s best para surfers in the iconic Surf City USA for the very first time. It will be amazing to see the level of energy and joy that Para Surfing can bring to the Paralympics at such an ideal stage.
“Para Surfing continues to grow every year as we run this amazing and important Championship. Athlete participation grows and the level of performance and competition increases at such a phenomenal rate.
“Our mission at the ISA to create ‘A Better World Through Surfing’ is so strongly seen through each and every one of the Para Surfing athletes. The life-changing effect that the ocean has is undeniable and surfing has played a key role in the healing of mind, body and spirit for so many in the Para Surfing community.
President & CEO of Visit Huntington Beach, Kelly Miller, said:
“Visit Huntington Beach, the official destination marketing organization for the city, is ecstatic to build on the success of past ISA events here in our city. By hosting the ISA World Para Surfing Championship in early November 2023 at the historical HB Pier, our entire community is demonstrating once again our commitment to not only the ISA, but to the dreams of world class Para Surfing athletes who will travel from around the world to compete for medals in Surf City USA. If you haven’t witnessed firsthand the life changing experience of watching these incredible athletes compete, mark your calendars. This is a must attend competition for everyone.”