COVID-19: Beaches are open again

Tuesday February 2nd, 2021
Surfing South Africa President welcomes the opening of beaches
Surfing South Africa President, Johnny Bakker has welcomed the announcement by President Ramaphosa that all beaches in South Africa are open once again.
“On behalf of Surfing South Africa and all recreational, social and competitive surfers and surfriders we are happy to be able to enter the ocean again and surf” said Bakker. South Africa’s surfriding fraternity also includes surf shops, surf schools, surf coaches, all of which have been hard hit by the month long beach closures.
Not only has Olympic qualifier Bianca Buitendag been unable to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics but  professional and competitive surfers from all parts of South Africa have been unable to train for an extended period.
In addition, over 20,000 recreational and social surfriders have also been prevented from exercising in the ocean.
The lifting of the beach ban is effective immediately and in order for the beaches to remain open, all surfriders are reminded to adhere to Covid -19 protocols which include mask wearing prior to surfing and upon returning after a surf, adhering to social distancing and to not gather in groups at beaches and surf venues. All surfriders and beach users are requested to adhere to these basic protocols at all times.
Issued by
Surfing South Africa

Governance of Stand-Up Paddle to the ISA at Olympic Level

The following article is written by ISA News and can be found on the ISA website. 

The ISA today welcomed the landmark decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to award the governance of StandUp Paddle (SUP) to the ISA at Olympic level.

The resolution of this matter is an historic moment for the sport of SUP and the ISA. The ISA has been committed to the global development and promotion of SUP over many years – investing and defending the sport to serve the best interests of the athletes, national federations, local SUP events and all fans.

The CAS award allows the ISA to further focus and fully accelerate the international growth and popularity of the sport, as the International Sport Federation responsible for SUP at the Olympic level.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre said:

“At the end of this long and difficult paddle, we are both relieved and gratified by this important decision by CAS.  In confirming the ISA’s governance of SUP at the Olympic level, CAS has validated our years of passion, commitment and leadership – from our world champions, to our officials, organizers and member federations.

“The global SUP community can now look forward with clarity in continuing the building of an exciting future for SUP and its athletes. This includes our long-term ambition and plan to see the sport included in the Olympic Programme under the leadership and authority of the ISA.

“For us, there’s never been any question that the governance of SUP at the Olympic level derived rightfully from the history, tradition and culture of surfing.  Today, we feel validation and recognition for all the years of active effort and hard work the committed teams at the ISA and around the world at a national level have invested to ensure SUP’s continued growth.

“Today’s decision is a team gold medal for the sport and the ISA.  We would like to thank all the athletes, officials, ISA member federation leaders and APP World Tour, as well as our legal team at Baer & Karrer, who supported us and stood by us all along the way.”

ISA Vice President Casper Steinfath said: 

“As an active athlete, but also a leader of the ISA, I am truly stoked for this outcome.  At the same time, we are pleased to put this legal process behind us. We are eager to get back to the important priority for all of us in expanding the global opportunities for SUP athletes and the sport.

As we saw at the Pan Am Games last summer in Lima, SUP can add amazing value to multi-sport competitions like the Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games, and other Continental Games.

“The pathway to these events for the athletes – through the ISA governance and its membership – is now clear.”

“For those of us who love and practice this sport every day, our passion to see SUP thrive globally is completely genuine and comes from our core. Today marks a historic moment for the rightful leadership, promotion and unity of SUP, which will ensure it enjoys an exciting and successful future.”

CAS has issued a press release regarding the award, which can be viewed here.

ICF given all clear to keep running SUP events

The following article is written by ICF Media and can be found on the ICF website.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared the way for the International Canoe Federation to continue to run Stand Up Paddling events at a national, international and world levels.  

The ICF was vindicated following CAS’s strong rejection of the claim by the International Surfing Association (ISA) that it had the exclusive right to govern Stand Up Paddling.  CAS unanimously found that the ICF was within its rights, as it has always maintained, to develop and nurture stand up paddling activities and competitions worldwide.

The CAS decision follows a long dispute between the ICF and the ISA over the governance of SUP.  It confirms that both the ICF and the ISA can continue to run SUP events.

In an unconventional move, the majority of the CAS panel indicated (with one panel member dissenting) that the ISA should have responsibility for running SUP at Olympic level in the future if SUP is eventually recognised as an Olympic sport.  It is surprising that the CAS panel felt that they could reach such a decision without the involvement of the IOC, as the recognition of an international federation as the administrator of an Olympic sport is traditionally a matter for the IOC.

However, the ICF welcomes the clear statement by CAS that its decision is not binding upon the IOC.  The IOC is ultimately free to make its own decision about who should govern SUP as an Olympic sport, taking account of what is in the best interests of the sport at the relevant time, without being fettered by today’s CAS Award.

Behind the ICF’s vision for SUP and core to this dispute, has been the notion that resources from both international federations can and should be used for the development of the discipline of stand up paddling, to make it an exciting and attractive sport at all levels.

ICF president, Jose Perurena, said the decision presents an opportunity for two Olympic federations to work together to grow a sport.

“We are pleased and feel vindicated that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has recognised the important role the International Canoe Federation has played in the development of stand up paddling and that it is free to continue this role worldwide” Mr Perurena said.

“The CAS decision presents an opportunity for two Olympic federations, the ICF and the ISA, to work together to promote a sport.  SUP is one of the fastest growing and most exciting sports on the planet, and it is the responsibility of both our federations to give it the best possible opportunity to reach its full potential.  We believe that the sport will flourish as a result.”

The decision also means national canoe federations can continue to hold SUP events without any interference or objection from ISA or its national members, which will help the development of the sport at grass root level.

The CAS decision clears the way for the ICF to hold its next SUP world championships, scheduled for Balatonfured in Hungary in 2021 and decide on two future editions which have been put on hold due to the ongoing CAS case.

SUPSA SA Stand-Up & Paddleboarding Championships 2020 Port Alfred Postponed

15 March 2020

­In accordance with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech, this evening, the SUPSA SA Stand-Up & Paddleboarding Championships 2020 in Port Alfred has been postponed.

SUPSA (Stand-Up Paddling South Africa) will be meeting to confirm new dates for the event and will confirm all details as soon as it is finalised. We will be communicating all decisions on email communication, the SUPSA website, as well as social media platforms, including Whats App and Facebook, to ensure clear and defined information.

Kindly, Mandy Scanlen

SUPSA President

EL SALVADOR 2019 – That’s a wrap

And that’s a wrap for the 2019 El Salvador Surf City ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships. 

We ended the last day with eyes fixed on the men and women’s surfing final where France took gold for both men and women – Benoit Carpentier scored an 8.90 on an incredible final wave and Justine Dupont continued to showcase her skill on each wave she surfed. The closing ceremony in the boiling hot sun followed at 13:00 where Tyra Buncombe took to the stage for her gold medal. South Africa placed with an overall 8th and with a proud Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika we ended the 2019 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships. 

A word from Anja

Sitting on our last flight from London to Cape Town I though it best to introduce myself. My name is Anja Burger and I have been the Team Manager for the SA SUP Team for the 2019 El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships. I have been making most of the arrangements for the team to get them where they have to be and have what they need. I also wrote this blog on a daily to keep our family and friends up to date on this trip. 

The trip has been a great privilege in my year. Not only was this an opportunity to travel with incredible athletes but it was an opportunity to travel with good-hearted, extremely funny and caring people and share our love for the greatest water sport. I get extremely excited to see the sport grow in our country and got a real kick out of experiencing the sport on an international platform.

We have great plans to make next year as great if not 17 times better. Makes sure you know what’s going on. 




EL SALVADOR 2019 – Surfing at Worlds

Surfing – Day 3

Great excitement filled the breakfast room with Matt, Dylan and Khara taking to the waves again. Dylan was up in heat 2 and Matt in heat 3, while Khara would showcase her skills thereafter. Dylan had a great round with scoring a 5.37 on his second wave and a 6.10 on his fourth wave. The waves were cooking and allowed Dylan to surf them from the back to the front. With great excitement – Dylan exited the water with the top score in his heat. 

Little did we know that the next heat would include top wave scores from Matthew Maxwell from South Africa. After a 5.40 on his second wave, Matt scored a 4.40, placing him third behind Daniel Hughes. Matt waited for the last seconds in his heat, and with a shock to Daniel’s system, already being interviewed for his second spot, Matt got onto his last wave – 30 seconds from the end – and landed every turn from the back to the very end of the best wave up until then. He scored an 8.73. The vuvuzelas reflected these scores with great and loud blows. 

Khara’s heat was coming up and she entered the water with a great excitement after the previous day’s great heat. Khara had a tough heat with Candice Appleby and Lara Claydon from the United States of America and Aline Adisaka from Brazil. Khara had difficulty in getting waves while the others had priority with good sets that came through. She surfed until the end but was not able to place in the top two in this repo round. 

It was time for repechage round 4 for Dylan and Matthew. Matthew was up against Zane Schweitzer from the United States of America, Gabriel Salazar from Chile and Juan de los Reyes from Spain. Matt scored on great waves throughout his heat, with a 4.23 on his second wave. With great disappointment – the commentator announced an interference call after wave two – saying that Matt was warned that he was prone paddling more than five strokes and received the interference penalty on his second warning. This was massively disappointing especially with his fourth and fifth wave scoring 6.2 and 5.10, which would’ve placed him in second place but knocked him down to 3rd because of the penalty. This meant the end for Matt’s surfing at Worlds. Great surfing Matt! 

Dylan was next and up against Clement Roseyro from France, Guillermo Carracedo from Spain and Jefferson Tascon from Columbia. With some difficulty in finding waves, Dylan scored 5.63 and 5.10 on the two waves that he caught. It was two great waves but was unfortunately not enough to move him from third place.

And just like that – El Salvador Surf City 2019 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships was done and dusted. So what did we do next? We had burritos, organised a bus, packed our boards and found our way to Playa Punta Roca where there were a couple of locals and fun waves. Great fun was found, here. We ended the day with burgers and pasta at our favourite restaurant with the Danish Team. 

What is left for today? Closing Ceremony at 1 pm on Sunday and a Closing fiesta at 6 pm. You can also watch the surfing finals this morning (afternoon in South Africa), which has just started.

Just a massive thanks to Ben Reed and Sean Evans for the great photos throughout the World Championships.