Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Record-Breaking 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship
By ISA Staff
The 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WPSC) officially opened today in Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, California. Hundreds gathered on Main Street to support the largest-ever gathering of Para Surfers and witness the Parade of Nations led by the local high school marching band.
A record-breaking 184 Para Surfers representing 27 countries and 9 Sport Classes paraded towards the iconic Huntington Beach Pier, flags waving proudly amid loud cheers. The signature Sands of the World ceremony followed, with teams pouring local sand into a collective container representing peaceful unity through surfing.
This 8th edition of the WPSC includes the most women para surfers ever at 62, plus Saudi Arabia’s debut. Huntington Beach hosts its 8th ISA event over 40 years and the first-ever WPSC.
Visitors Bureau CEO Kelly Miller and Mayor Tony Strickland welcomed athletes, declaring the event open. Miller noted surfing’s rich local history and Para Surfing’s future.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre expressed happiness at the event’s growth and aspirations for Para Surfing’s Olympic inclusion, recounting attempts for 2020 and 2024. “Para Surfing needs to be in the Olympic Games,” said Aguerre. “It will bring tremendous energy, positivity and equal access.”
The record-sized WPSC field promises an exciting week showcasing para surfing’s top talent and continued momentum.
The 2023 WPSC is set to begin with Men’s Kneel at 7:30am, Monday, November 6, at Southside Huntington Beach Pier.