The perfect waves at Hainan’s Riyue Bay. Photo: ISA/Watts
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, in his fight to spread surfing around the world, has set his sights on China. In collaboration with Aguerre’s vision, ISA organized the first ever International Surfing Festival, hosted by Quiksilver, in January 2012. The event was put on in collaboration with Chinese media and sports partner, Womei Media, as well as with the support of the governments of Hainan Province and Wanning City.

"Without a doubt I can say that China has made a grand entrance into the surfing family,” said ISA President Aguerre in his closing remarks. “Most importantly, this Surfing Festival has signaled the arrival in China of surfing and its powerful and influential lifestyle. It is my personal hope and desire that China will embrace surfing and the beach culture, as part of China’s already very rich culture.”
Read on for more on ISA’s efforts and a look at what went down at the Festival:
The Festival, which included the 8-nation, invitation-only, ISA China Cup, followed by the ISA produced Hainan Classic ASP Men’s 4-Star, was historical in several ways. The festival was the largest surfing event produced in China as well as the first-ever national team surfing event in the country. It also marked the first time the ISA produced an ASP event, as well as the first ASP event ever in China to count toward the ASP Men’s World Ranking. The world’s top surfers were introduced to the great surf at Riyue Bay, and in turn the nation of China was introduced to the sport, culture, and lifestyle of surfing through a media reach of nearly 150 million impressions both in China and internationally.
The opportunity for surfing to build a presence and strong following in China is a progressive step in the journey to be recognized by the IOC for future Olympic Games. It is also the beginning of a grassroots movement to increase interest and involvement in surfing with the people of China.

The ISA will be announcing the ISA China Cup for 2013 and an upgrade of the Hainan Classic to an ASP Men’s 6-Star. 

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