Over 150 instructors have been certified since April ©ISA

The International Surfing Association (ISA) have aimed to boost the development of StandUp Paddle by certifying over 150 instructors in recent months.

StandUp Paddle courses have been conducted as part of the ISA’s coaching and instructing programme, which has been aimed at establishing an industry standard of safety and quality for SUP and surf instructors to follow.

The courses cover areas such as risk management, duty of care and water safety, as well as teaching the participants practical skills and knowledge to properly instruct others.

Instructors from 12 countries, including Brazil, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Belgium and Hong Kong, have all been certified in recent months with over 150 having achieve the feat since April.

“It is important that the ISA establishes the industry standard to ensure that instructors have the proper skills and knowledge,” said Fernando Aguerre, ISA President.

“As the governing body of Surfing and SUP, the ISA continues to lead the charge for the growth of this young sport with the ultimate goal of inclusion in the Olympic Games.

“Thanks to the ISA’s efforts, SUP Racing has been included on the Sports Programme of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“SUP was part of the ISA’s proposal to Tokyo 2020 and we will continue to promote the sport in the hope that it can be included on the Programme for the 2024 Games.”

The ISA claim that the breadth of countries engaging in the courses are a further sign of their strategy to develop StandUp Paddle in non-traditional markets.

Several flat water courses have been held for countries which lack strong waves in rivers or lakes ©ISA
Several flat water courses have been held for countries which lack strong waves in rivers or lakes ©ISA

Jari Laakso, vice-president of the Finnish SUP and Surf Federation, has claimed that the country has benefited significantly from the courses.

“The ISA Flat Water SUP Course held in May was a great success certifying 26 new instructors,” he said.

“We are planning another course for fall.

“ISA Membership has helped the sport gain huge popularity in Finland and it is by far the fastest growing water sport in the country.”

Surfing has been recommended for inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing, by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board.

All five are expected to be rubber-stamped at the IOC Session in August ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.