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Madagascar - the newest member of global surf association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) announced a new Member Federation. Madagascar has become the 86th country to gain full Membership taking the number of ISA Members in Africa to 14 and which the island nation hopes will boost its tourism industry.
A sport imbued with youthful values and energy, Surfing is also a 22 billion dollar business that revolves around the youth demographic and sport lifestyle. With Africa’s extraordinary and expansive coastlines and the ease of access to waves, the ISA has made the expansion of the sport in Africa a major priority in order to grow Surfing and also to help stimulate local economies and assist with social development.
Madagascar offers over 3,000 miles of undiscovered coastline with the potential of many world-class waves. Though there is swell year round, the best time to surf is during the winter months when waves from the Atlantic Ocean wrap around the southern tip of Africa and land on Madagascar’s Indian Ocean beaches. The country features a variety of waves from rocky points to beach breaks and reef breaks.
Despite many miles of untapped coastlines, parts of Africa do have a rich Surfing tradition. 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 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship respectively.
In recent years, National Championships have also been held in Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, The Ivory Coast and Sao Tome and Principe amongst other nations.