The business of running surf schools in a professional way remains a key subject for the ISA. As surfing continues to experience explosive growth, so does the need to grow the surfing schools sector in a professional and orderly manner. From the very beginner all the way to the top professional surfers, surfing education is a key element for the development of surfing. Running surfing schools under worldwide standards will provide for years of sustained growth for schools.
When looking at the world of surf schools its fair to say we see a "mixed bunch", some small, some large, some struggling to survive, some with thriving business, some regulated by government and some not. A certainty is that the sport of surfing will continue to expand in every country and with this increased popularity will come Government controls that require a professional approach to the business of running a surf school.
The ISA has continued its work in the process of appointing "official presenters" around the world for its coaching(surfing instructors) accreditation courses. Currently the ISA has Surfing NZ, Surfing Australia, Hiro Takahashi & Matt Sato- Coombe at AIP Japan, Marcos Conde at CBS Brasil, Johnny Nesslinger at Austrian Surfing and Alessandro Dini at Viareggio Surf school, Italy. Whilst some National Governing Bodies (NGB's) have their own(non ISA certified) coaching accreditation systems in place, the ISA firmly believes that a global educational standard is essential. The ISA program offers many advantages over individual national programs. During 2007, courses were run by official presenters in all the above areas plus Costa Rica. ISA courses are continually being updated. A new level 1 ISA Surfing Instructor accreditation course will be releasedby the ISA in July 2008.
Additionally, the ISA also offers its ISA Surf School Registration as entry level recognition for surf schools agreeing to operate under certain minimum safety standards and practices. Before the introduction of the ISA Surf School Register, no global standard was in place. We have had a promising response from surf schools in 2007 and we see 2008 as another strong development year in this program.
Our medium term goal is to bring both the ISA Surf school registration and the professional Accreditation and education of instructors and coaches together into a global program. It will give all surfers access to the best knowledge and education no matter where they live and surf.
The ISA is also working closely with a Global Insurance provider, with the aim of establishing and offering to ISA Surf Schools, instructors and coaches, the very first global policy. It will insure and protect surf school operations and their clients,instructors and coaches, NGBs, clubs and events. We plan to present this much needed product in 2008. Every surf school will at some point in the future be required to have an insurance policy and the ISA intends to have this available to help each NGB and Surf School do business in a professional manner, including insurance protection.
Greater knowledge and better operational standards will bring a greater rate of development to our sport. We believe all these ISA offered improvements, will make 2008 a great year for professional surf instructor and coaches to become part of this better surfing future for surfing education around the world. For more information, please visit the ISA website.