ISA World Para Surfing Championship 2023 Guide in Huntington Beach

The ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WPSC) 2023 will be held in Huntington Beach, California, until November 11. The world's best para surfers are already in California, competing for gold in nine categories and the team trophy.

This marks the first time the WPSC is being hosted in 'Surf City USA.' It is the eighth major event organized by ISA in this location, following the city's hosting of four editions of the ISA World Surfing Games in 1984, 1996, 2006, and 2022, as well as the ISA World Juniors in 2005, 2018, and 2019.

As the Presenting Sponsor, Visit Huntington Beach is delighted to showcase the world's top para surfers while supporting ISA's mission to include Para Surfing in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

© ISA / Sean Evans
© ISA / Sean Evans

Here's a guide to the ISA World Para Surfing Championship 2023:

- Record Participation: There are 184 registered surfers from 27 national teams, surpassing the previous record set in 2022, which is more than double the number of participants in the inaugural 2015 event.

- Current Champions: The current back-to-back Team World Champions, Team USA, are aiming for another victory on home soil.

- Road to Los Angeles 2028: The ISA stated, "With surfing as the official sport of the state of California and a strong surf culture, Para Surfing presents a unique value proposition to the Paralympic Program." They further added, "The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board has confirmed that Para Surfing has demonstrated the competitive viability and integrity of the sport, as well as the strategic benefits to the Paralympic Games." The evaluation process for including Para Surfing in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles will be led by the LA28 organizers. The process is expected to conclude, and the final program confirmed, before the end of this year.

- World's Best in the Water: A significant list of former World Champions will return to defend their titles. Sixteen men and twelve women who have won world titles will be present in Huntington Beach, including multiple gold medalists such as Mark 'Mono' Stewart (AUS), Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA), and Matt Formston (AUS). The most successful female para surfer, Victoria Feige (CAN), will aim to continue her streak and become the first woman to win five gold medals, while Liv Stone (USA) and Melissa Reid (ENG) will strive to secure their fourth gold medals.

- Continuous Growth of Women's Para Surfing: A record-breaking 62 women will compete, representing over one-third of the total competitors. Gender equality is a key priority for ISA, and the significant increase in women's participation in recent years reflects ongoing efforts to create more opportunities for women in all surfing disciplines.

- Categories: ISA has officially classified 302 para surfers, with over 60 more classified at the 2022 World Para Surfing Championship. Athletes are grouped into one of the nine categories based on their specific physical conditions. Each category will crown male and female World Champions.

  • Stand 1
  • Stand 2
  • Stand 3
  • Kneel
  • Sit
  • Prone 1
  • Prone 2
  • Vision Impairment 1
  • Vision Impairment 2