The International Surfing Association (ISA) has been handed recognition as the official International Federation for adaptive surfing by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Surfing was added to the Olympic sports programme in August 2016, after years of ISA campaigning, for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Since then, the sport's governing body has continued with ambitions to include adaptive surfing in the Paralympic Games, and this IPC recognition brings the sport one step closer to achieving that goal.
The ISA's leadership is hoping to encourage worldwide growth for adaptive surfing by "unifying efforts across the globe" and is encouraging its membership to back the discipline.
The development of an adaptive surfing classification system and rule book, as well as guidance from an advisory board comprised of athletes, experts and enthusiasts, has helped the discipline grow.
“I would like to thank the IPC for accepting us into the Paralympic family," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.
"The ISA is fully committed to the global development of adaptive surfing and will continue to work in unison with our 100 Members Nations, the global adaptive surfing community, and the IPC.
“We welcome the guidance, expertise, and support of the IPC to help create the better opportunities and wider accessibility for adaptive surfers to practice and grow the sport.
“Adaptive surfing is a vibrant sport infused with youthful energy and high-performance qualities that we think would add great value to the Paralympic Games.
"We feel that Paralympic recognition is the next step forward in the ISA’s ultimate goal of seeing Adaptive Surfing included in the Paralympic programme.”
Last year's ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship broke participation records with 77 athletes from 21 countries, across all five continents, competing in San Diego in December.
The record turnout in the American city was an increase on the inaugural championship held in 2015, which featured 69 athletes from 18 countries.
The 2017 edition of the event, set to take place between November 30 and December 3 in California, is expected to have even greater participation and will feature the addition of the first women’s division in the event.
Member Nations such as France, Australia, Chile, Brazil, the United States, Hawaii, and South Africa have all held their own National Championships to select teams for the event.
At the World Surfing Games in Biarritz last month, Aguerre claimed the organisation are hopeful of appearing at the 2024 Paralympic Games.