Ever wondered why whenever we think about impressive waves certain locations such as Hawaii, California, Australia, France amongst many others simply pop-up? How come these locations are so embedded in our minds that even those who do not know an inkling about surfing can close their eyes and imagine beautifully perfect barrels? History has its unique and magical way to work through to our consciousness. Surfing as a sport, although it was practiced for centuries, it became known until the 1960’s. The first World Surfing Championship starts with the inception of the International Surfing Association and was held on a glorious summer day in 1964 at Manly Beach, Australia.
That first championship was epic, it gathered contestants and enthusiasts from all over the world and during that memorable summer day a crowd of 65,000 gathered around Manly Beach to see the first-ever ISA Men’s Champion emerge. The year 1964 will remain a pivotal year for the history of Surfing, it was the first time two surfers in Hawaii took the outer reef Pipeline and it was the year of the first release of the film Endless Summer by Bruce Brown. Enthusiasts around the world gaped at the sight of the new sport, and all of these simultaneous events appearing almost out of thin air created an important momentum.
Four decades later, with improvements of techniques and custom-designed props and variations of boards the ISA has become the World’s Governing Authority for Surfing and is officially recognized by International Olympic Committee in 1995 for all wave-riding sports. These sports include: Surfing, Paddleboard, Stand Up Paddle, Kneeboard, Bodyboard, Longboard, Skimboard, Tandem Surfing, Bodysurfing and Wakesurfing.
The ISA awards Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper medals to National Teams and individual champions and have various categories based upon age and types of boards used. As the “Olympics” of Surfing, ISA promotes competitions wherein FairPlay, respect and the representation of the country with honor remain core values.
Last year, Team Costa Rica won gold at the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games and this year as the host country of the 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games, four of the six star-studded members of the squad have been chosen to represent the country to defend the title in national waters.