Surfing in Egypt: ISA welcomes latest federation in Africa to support surfing development across the continent
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has today confirmed that Egypt will be its 111th National Federation Member. The number of ISA Members in Africa now rises to 17, which is helping to further drive forward the expansion of surfing across the continent.
The Egyptian Surfing Association (ESA) is responsible for developing surfing across the country, including staging and promoting national surf competitions and events. This also involves advancing the development of standup paddle (SUP) and other surfing disciplines. As a member of the ISA, the ESA will advocate for surfing’s continued inclusion in the Olympic Games and support the sport’s goal to join other multi-sport events around the world.
A priority mission for the ESA is to celebrate and spread surfing culture to Egypt’s large youth population and to encourage greater participation and enjoyment of the sport. Ultimately, with support the ISA, the ESA can create a proper development pathway for the sport in the country and form the first competitive national teams for surfing and SUP.
Omar Elsobky, ESA President.
The foundation for this development was laid in July of this year as the ISA organized Surf Level 1 Instructor and ISA/ILS Water Safety Courses in collaboration with the Egyptian Surfing Association and Surf Camp Egypt. The development program delivered by ISA Course Presenter Hans Van Den Broek (NED) trained and certified the first Egyptian surf coaches at the ISA’s international standard. The ESA hopes to build upon this foundation to continue to grow the surfing community in Egypt, establish additional Surf and SUP clubs, and certify more coaches and instructors.
Omar Elsobky, ESA President.
The global growth of surfing is a key ISA objective and the organization is focused on the ongoing expansion of surfing across Africa. The continent has amazing and expansive coastlines for surfing and great potential for surfing development and tourism. With surfing’s growing popularity amongst the youth, the ISA believes the sport can additionally make a meaningful contribution to local economies and help fuel social development.
Many parts of Africa have a rich surfing tradition – for example, South Africa has been a surfing stronghold for many years and, in addition to the many National Championships held on a yearly basis, South Africa was the first African nation to host the ISA World Championships with the edition in East London in 1978. The ISA since returned to Durban in 2002 and 2003 for the ISA World Surfing Games and the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship respectively.
In recent years, National Championships have also been held in Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, The Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Sao Tome and Principe amongst other countries.
Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:
“We love the fact that we are welcoming one of the oldest civilizations - Egypt – to the newest, coolest Olympic sport. This is confirmation of surfing’s universal appeal and the sport’s expansion in to new territories and continents.
We are fully committed to surfing’s continued global growth, as more and more young people fall in love with the ocean and every surfing and SUP discipline. Africa is a very important continent for the ISA as we spread the joy of surfing to all parts of the world and fulfil our mission to make our sport accessible to everyone.
“With surfing confirmed in the Youth Olympic Games in Dakar in 2026, there will be a stronger spotlight on our sport in Africa, which we hope will inspire the next generation of Egyptians to participate in all surfing disciplines. We would love to see Egyptian surfers competing in the Youth Olympics soon.”
Omar Elsobky, ESA President, said:
“We are very excited to join the ISA. This is a big moment for the expanding Egyptian surf community and, following the sport’s amazing debut at the Tokyo Olympics, we believe we can harness this excitement and inspire many more to become surfing athletes.
“We want to see thousands of Egyptians – young and old, women and men – become passionate about surfing and the unique culture that is embedded into the sport. We have stunning coastlines and great waves for all levels so we look forward to developing an exciting surfing future for our country.”