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.

Canoeing SA & Surfing SA incorporating SUPSA

Durban – The discipline of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has become increasingly popular in South Africa in recent years and will now jointly fall under the auspices of both Canoeing South Africa and Surfing South Africa in a ground-breaking agreement.
The discipline will be governed by canoeing when SUP events take place on flat-water and in rivers as SUP boarders continue to branch out into river events like the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Push And Pull Paddle, the Fish River Canoe Marathon and the many flat-water races.
When events are ocean-based and wave-based then the discipline will fall under the jurisdiction of Surfing South Africa.
President of Canoeing South Africa believes that the arrangement will benefit all parties involved.
“It’s all about the athletes for us and now the reality is that SUP athletes can go to World Championships hosted by both World Surfing and the ICF,” Pople said. “The decision made sense and I think it’s going to provide everyone with a great new way forward.”
Robin de Kock of Surfing South Africa is excited by the coming together of federations and hopes that these sorts of agreements can happen more often.
“Surfing South Africa is very pleased to be working with our friends at Canoeing SA and SUPSA in the best interests of South Africa’s SUP surfers, paddlers and distance racers,” De Kock said.
“Mutual and constructive discussions between SSA and CSA, the recognised National Federations, have led to the decision that South Africa’s SUP surfers will remain part of Surfing South Africa while the SUP paddlers and distance racers will fall under the auspices of Canoeing SA.
“Surfing South Africa, Canoeing SA and SUPSA have an excellent relationship and all three parties believe that this alliance will be of value to the SUP fraternity in South Africa going forward,” he mentioned.
The excitement of the agreement was also felt by SUPSA President Mandy Scanlen given that the sport of SUP has two contrasting categories that needed to be catered for.
“SUP Surfing and Long Distance paddle races and technical are two very different disciplines and in the best interest of the athletes it was a great opportunity to have stand-up paddle boarding represented in both Surfing South Africa and Canoeing South Africa.
“By creating a partnership with both federations we endeavour to grow the transformation and development of the sport as well as grow the exposure of the sport both inland and in the ocean.”
SUPSA have established themselves as one of the top performing federations at international competitions with a number of World Championship medals coming from the South African competitors.

For more information visit

COVID-19: Department of Sport, Arts and Culture’s Media Alert Regarding Level 3 Sport Directions

The attached Media Directive from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is self explanatory. Please read it thoroughly in order to understand the directives from the Minister of Sport. 

Please ensure that all clubs and event organisers within your structures are aware of the Minister’s Media alert.
Surfing South Africa submitted its Operational Plan and Risk Strategy to the Minister on June 17th and we are waiting for a response to our submission.

Surfing South Africa will make an official announcement regarding the outcome of our submission once we receive this information from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.


COVID-19: Surfing South Africa submits an appeal to the Minister

Surfers from all over South Africa has questioned the strict regulations against surfing while people are allowed to walk, jog and cycle between 6 am and 9 am during Level 4 of our lockdown. Surfing South Africa has submitted an appeal to the Minister to allow surfers, including shortboard surfers, longboard surfers, bodyboarders, kneeboarders, para-surfers, stand up paddlers and recognised affiliates, to have access to the ocean via the beach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As stated in this statement, submitted by Surfing South Africa, “surfing is a healthy, solo exercize that provides high levels of fitness and mental agility to thousands of individuals of all ages and walk of life.”

You can read and download the statement, here.

COVID-19: Statement regarding (no) Surfing in Level 4

We received a statement from SSA providing us with clarity around beaches and surfing in level 4. For now – beaches are still closed and there are heavy restrictions on social gathering. We want to encourage you to share your creative water-ways and workouts with us. Let’s keep fit for that first sunrise, when we will again feel the ocean breeze on our salty skin. Let us support our governing bodies so that we can get to the water sooner. You can download the statement, here