The highly successful and record-breaking 2022 World Para Surfing Championship in Pismo Beach, California saw over 180 athletes representing 28 national teams competing across 9 different Para Surfing Sport Classes. The 2023 Championship 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.

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 the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) requirements and encouraged its network of 113 member nations to host national and regional competitions. 

ISA Para Surfing

Huntington Beach has played a historic role for the sport of surfing, having hosted countless 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. 

"Our biggest hope and dream is to celebrate Para Surfing's inclusion in LA28 Paralympic Games during the World Championship." ISA President Fernando Aguerre said. "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."

The event will take place on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier from November 5 to 11, 2023.


There are numerous parking options near the Pier and in Downtown Huntington Beach. Check out our official parking guide for more information.

Where to Watch

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The live webcast will be streamed HERE from November 5 -11. Otherwise, catch the action live on the sands of Huntington City Beach.

Schedule of Events

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Event schedule is tentative and subject to change at any time at the ISA's discretion. See the most up-to-date schedule HERE.

November 3: 
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Classification

November 4: 
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Classification
7 - 9 p.m.: Managers' Meeting 
9 a.m.: Volunteer Training (Location: Huntington Beach, South Side) 

November 5:
8 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Para Surfing Clinic hosted by AmpSurf 
1:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony/ Parade (Location: Pier Plaza, at the end of Main St)

November 6: 
7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 

November 7: 
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 

November 8: 
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 
5:30 p.m.: Para Surfing Forum @ Athlete Area

November 9: 
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 

November 10: 
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 

November 11: 
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Final Competition at South side of Huntington Beach pier 
Following the Finals (estimated to be around 3:30 or 4 p.m.): Closing Ceremony @ Pier Plaza

How Athletes are Classified

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The ISA has officially classified 302 para surfers, with over 60 more being classified at the 2022 World Para Surfing Championship. 

The goal of classification in Para Surfing is to accurately allocate the athlete into their best surf class to ensure a high level of competition and a more leveled playing field, minimizing the impact of impairment on the sport performance. 

Athletes are grouped into one of nine classifications depending on their particular physical conditions. Each classification will crown men's and women's World Champions. 

  • Stand 1
  • Stand 2
  • Stand 3
  • Kneel
  • Sit
  • Prone 1
  • Prone 2
  • Vision Impairment 1
  • Vision Impairment 2

Full details for each classification can be found HERE.

Participating Athletes

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By the Numbers

There are 184 athletes participating from 27 different countries.

Participating Countries
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hawaii
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Wales
Age Range of Athletes

The age range is from 11-years-old (Jade Edwards, Scotland) to 62-years-old (Mark "Mono Stewart, Australia).

World Champions Return, Looking to Set More Records

A huge list of former World Champions will be returning to defend their titles. 16 men and 12 women who have won world titles will be present in Huntington Beach, including multiple gold medalists, Mark "Mono" Stewart (AUS), Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA), and Matt Formston (AUS). 

The winningest athlete in women's para surfing, Victoria Feige (CAN), will be looking to continue her streak and become the first woman to earn five gold medals, while Liv Stone (USA) and Melissa Reid (ENG) will be seeking to win their fourth.

Local Athletes & Accolades
  • Jacob Pacheco - From Orange County
  • Jesse Billauer - From Los Angeles, past World Champion, legend in adaptive surfing
  • Liv Stone - From Oceanside, 3X World Champion
  • Jose Martinez - From San Diego, past World Champion
  • Sarah Bettencourt - From San Diego, past World Champion
  • Quinn Waitley - From San Diego
  • Josh Loya - From San Diego
  • Chris Oberle - From San Diego
Liv Stone (USA) Bio

Olivia "Liv" Stone grew up in an athletic family. Competitive by nature, she played soccer, basketball, field hockey, and was on her high school rifle team. But by age 14, and as a congenital, bilateral, above-the-elbow amputee she hadn't found her true passion. She was introduced to surfing through Bethany Hamilton at a retreat in Del Mar in 2017. She later attended CAF's 3-day Surf Camp in 2018, where she fell in love with the sport. Liv persuaded her parents into moving to San Diego to train and they made Southern California their home. She is currently on USA's Para Surf Team and has competed in the 2018, 2020, and 2021 ISA World Para Surf Championships. She helped earn gold and silver medals for the team, as well as two gold medals individually for the women's stand 1 division. 

Victoria Feige (CAN) Bio

After a snowboarding accident left Victoria partially paralyzed at 18, she returned to skiing and surfing. She is also a clinic physiotherapist with a love of neuroscience, orthopedics, and hand therapy. She trained hard outside work hours to become an accomplished adaptive surfer on the competitive scene. She has been surfing for Team Canada since 2016 and won 4 consecutive (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) ISA World Para Surfing Championships in the women's Kneel Division. She has won back-to-back US Adaptive Surf Open in the Women's Waveski Division 2019 and 2020, and 2 consecutive AASP women's Kneel World Titles. 

She loves kneel surfing because she enjoys paddling in with her hands, taking the drop while popping up, and the feeling of duck diving. She taught herself to duck dive by watching YouTube videos, analyzing the biomechanics, adapting them to her own body, and practicing in a community pool in Vancouver. She has since moved from Vancouver to North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii to progress and reach her potential in this sport. She wants to surf in the Paralympics and help other new adaptive surfers progress. She would also love to run adaptive surf camps in Hawaii for aspiring para surfers.

Mark "Mono" Stewart (AUS) Bio

In 1976, Mono was 15 and was told her had a form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. He went through two years of chemotherapy after the doctors removed his right leg above the knee. After he lost his leg, one of the only things he could think about was trying to surf again, and he believes it was this passion that has been his driving force and determination in his life. In September 2015, at the age of 53, he won the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in La Jolla, California. Since then, he has competed in 30 international surfing events - he's made the finals in all 30 and won 27 of them. 

"Surfing's kept me alive and kept me inspired - it's good for the body as well as the soul," he said. "It's such a leveller. You can surf with people and they don't even realize you've got one leg until you get out of the water. I had a young boy come up to me in Indonesia not long ago who told me, 'If I ever lose a leg, I want to surf just like you.' It was like wow, pretty heart-wrenching stuff." 

Mono lives life to the fullest and his positivity and tenaciousness is infectious. "There are so many people that are worse off than me that inspire me," Mono said. "I'm lucky - I'm only missing a leg."