LA JOLLA, California - The International Surfing Association (ISA) welcomed the support of the Association of PaddleBoard Professionals (APP) and the elite, professional athletes of StandUp Paddle (SUP), after they jointly released a statement recognizing the ISA as the sole world governing body for the sport.
The statement was published ahead of the first-ever APP London SUP Open this past weekend (7-8 July) – marking the start of the 2018 APP World Tour, which is sanctioned exclusively by the ISA. The strong messages of support reaffirm the APP’s unique relationship with the ISA, and signals how elite SUP athletes are aligned with the spirit and values of Surfing and Surf sports.
The declaration once again emphasizes the ISA’s historic involvement and investment in StandUp Paddle and further reinforces the International Federation as the rightful, and natural, global governing body for SUP.
The full APP and professional SUP athlete solidarity statement can be viewed below.
“As it kicks of its season with the opening event next week, the APP, the professional body for the sport of SUP, is proud to reaffirm its recognition and acknowledgment of the International Surfing Association [ISA] as the sole worldwide governing body for SUP. Many of the world’s most elite professional SUP athletes exclusively represent the APP World Tour as the only recognized official global professional tour, which is exclusively sanctioned by the ISA. The APP and ISA’s unique partnership is defined by the understanding that SUP is born from the sport of surfing. We believe SUP enjoys a strong affinity with surfing and our shared culture and values ensure our organizations work harmoniously together so we can provide a long-term professional pathway for all elite SUP surfers and racers.
Both the ISA and APP continue to work tirelessly in unison to grow and develop SUP worldwide in the interests of the global SUP community and elite athletes – ensuring that this youthful and exciting sport continues to enhance its profile and flourish in every part of the world. It is also clear the ISA has supported athletes by staging elite-level competitions through the organization of the annual ISA SUP World Championships since 2012 – an event where all the world’s best SUP competitors participate.
The ISA and APP also share a vision for the global expansion of SUP via inclusion in major multi-sport events and we are aligned in the mission to see SUP included in future editions of the Olympic Games under the ISA’s leadership and authority. In this regard, all APP endorsed athletes support the ISA and the vertical growth of the sport of stand up paddling. The APP believes that no other International Sports Federation has been as committed or active as the ISA in the organization and development of SUP. As such, we only recognize the ISA as the rightful world governing body for SUP.”
Responding to the APP and SUP athlete statements, ISA President Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We are proud that the world’s best SUP athletes continue to support us as the sole governing body of StandUp Paddle, and we are excited to see the passion for the sport in London this weekend. Ultimately, it is the athletes who are the heart of the sport and we are delighted they continue to recognize the work we have done to develop SUP around the world. For more than a decade we have worked for their benefit, and I am proud of the great partnership we have with the APP to enable SUP to flourish for many more years.
The APP World Tour has grown into a truly incredible event series and I am excited by what the future holds for it. By taking the sport of SUP to the likes of London and New York, we are showing that surf sports can take place anywhere in the world, and are continuing to engage new, inner city fans and open up new markets. This is an exciting time for StandUp Paddle and the ISA is proud to have worked so hard, and for so long, to grow the sport to this point.”
The APP World Tour sees the top SUP athletes come together to compete on a global stage. In London, athletes will take part in a range of elite Pro races, including a sprint along the River Thames that concludes in front of the iconic Houses of Parliament.
Alongside the professional races, the APP is arranging a host of ocean responsibility, yoga, and surf sport activities, creating a weekend-long City Paddle Festival in the heart of the UK’s capital.
Michael Booth competing in the APP World Tour Maui stop in 2016. | Photo Courtesy: APP World Tour
Athletes in support of uniformity of sport of SUP
Kai Lenny, Michael Booth and Candice Appleby [APP World Tour professional athletes], added their support for the uniformity of the sport:
Australian powerhouse, Michael Booth is a presence at every major championship event and has been a dominant force to contend with in open water and distace races. He is a highly respected athlete whose accolades include being the 2017 Euro Tour Winner and 2016 ISA World Champion in the Distance Race. Michael speaks in favor of unifying the sport of SUP:
"The APP and ISA are really pushing the level of SUP and it's an exciting time to be involved in the sport. The 4 stops of the APP World Tour in major locations like Paris, London, New York and San Francisco are really highlighting the sport to the world. I'm so stoked to be a part of it and can't wait to see everybody at all the events." - Michael Booth
Kai Lenny is one of the great watermen alive today. His skill in surfing, SUP, foiling and windsurfing are world renowned. He's earned multiple world titles as well as become the face & future of stand up paddling. Kai has been deeply involved in the evolution of watersports from a young age. He says,
"The opportunities I have had to travel the world going to places that are beyond just the surf zone have been amazing. To be here in London racing in the iconic city, thank you APP World Tour for putting us into this arena! Between what the APP is doing and what their partner the ISA have done, it's really allowed us the opportunity to have a career in a sport we love. Mahalo!" - Kai Lenny
Candice Appleby, a world champion multiple times over through her 6X dominance at the Battle of Paddle & Pacific Paddle Games is longterm ambassador for the sport of SUP. Candice has been a voice for women's equality in SUP as well as a major part of its overall growth. She is passionate about the joining of forces between the ISA and APP World Tour.
"I'm excited to be here in London at the season opener for the APP World Tour. It's great to see the APP and ISA continuing to work together to support the development of SUP around the world with the high profile stops this year." - Candice Appleby