Kiribati Joins The ISA

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The International Surfing Association (ISA), the surfing world’s governing authority recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is proud to welcome Kiribati to its list of member nations.

Located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Kiribati is composed of 32 islands with perfect and abundant waves, and warm water.

The Kiribati Surfing Association (KSA), led by President Nicholas McDermott, was recently organized and is now the country’s national governing body (NGB) of the sport.

“We are very excited to be recognized internationally,” said McDermott. “It is the KSA’s primary objective to promote surfing throughout Kiribati as a healthy and competitive sport as well as to set up smaller clubs on each of the islands that have waves accessible by paddling out.”

President McDermott continued, “Every two years, Kiribati holds a national sporting competition, and the KSA hopes that surfing will be included as an established local competitive sport. Ultimately, we hope to be able to achieve a thriving local surf scene.”

Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, said about the newest member, “It is great to know that a small country like Kiribati created its own surfing association and is looking forward to the growth of the sport in their nation. I am glad to know that they now have a government-recognized surfing association. We all expect them to make great progress as they have warm water and beautiful waves all year long. We are hoping to see them compete at an ISA World Championship soon.”

With so many islands spread across the middle of the Pacific, Kiribati is open to surf from all directions that break on coral reefs. The most consistent and larger waves arrive at the Line Islands. The Kiribati Tourism Department describes the waves “…big and long breaks off Fanning and Kiritimati (Christmas) islands.”  The Gilbert chain has some fickle waves that are not as easily accessible, but they can be great on the right day.

About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Title, and will hold the first Stand Up Paddle (SUP) World Championship and the first World Bodyboard Championship in 2011.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 66 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since.  The ISA’s three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Mike Gerard (USA), Karín Sierralta (Peru) and Debbie Beacham (USA).