127 women from 34 countries participated to develop surfing judging around the world

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce that the first-ever specialized ISA Women’s Judging Program successfully concluded today, exceeding expectations in participation and engagement.

Program participants throw up shakas to show their stoke toward learning about surf judging.

Program participants throw up shakas to show their stoke toward learning about surf judging.

127 women from 34 countries tuned in to learn from two members of the Tokyo 2020 Judging panel, ISA Technical Director Erik Krammer and ISA/WSL Judge and Longboard Champion Tory Gilkerson. 

Held from December 1-3 online, the course was created with the goals of developing women judges around the world, promoting gender equality in surfing, and including more qualified women on judging panels for ISA World Championships in the future. Any women with interest in learning more or advancing their skills in surf judging that was endorsed by their National Surfing Federation was offered the opportunity to attend.

Course Presenter Tory Gilkerson shares her knowledge with women from 30 countries around the globe.

Course Presenter Tory Gilkerson shares her knowledge with women from 30 countries around the globe. 

ISA President Fernando Aguerre spoke to the participants at the opening: 

“Now is the time to start changing the way things are. The fact is there are not enough women involved in the judging of our sport, so this program is a strong first step to push closer to gender parity.

“I want to especially thank every woman that attended the course. I hope that they are just the seeds of much larger trees – the first wave of female judges that will work towards the highest level. By the time the 2024 Games come around, there will be way more qualified female judges.

“While this is a great start, this is just the beginning. We look forward to continuing to develop and grow women’s surfing and judging. Surely some of these course participants will earn a spot on a future judging panel at an ISA World Championship.”

Listen to Aguerre’s full speech here.

ISA and WSL Longboard Champion and member of the Tokyo 2020 Judging panel Tory Gilkerson said: 

“It has been great to see the amount of women that have shown interest in the program. I am inspired by how many women have a real interest and desire to get involved in surf judging.

“The course was extremely productive for the development of female judges, so I am stoked that the ISA took the initiative to create this platform. 

“I hope that there are some judges that took part in the program that I will one day get to work with on a panel in the future.” 

ISA Technical Director and member of the Tokyo 2020 Judging panel Erik Krammer said:

“It was an amazing three days of sharing knowledge, experiences, the love for the sport, and a real inspiration for the future of women judges. 

“I was so happy to be able to present the course along with Tory, who is a great role model for these women. The online offering enabled us to be able to efficiently educate a large group of women at once about the dynamics of judging.

“I would like to send a big thanks to everyone who attended and made it happen. The future of having more female officials at surfing events looks bright, and whether they reach the top level of surf judging or simply use the knowledge to better their level at local events, the dedication and commitment that I witnessed during the course really make a difference for Surfing as a whole.”

About the International Surfing Association:

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Para Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).

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