To the dismay of my colleagues, I try to balance my academic writing between colonial Peruvian cultural history and the cultural history of surfing in Latin America. While working on past projects, local Lima, Peru ripper and ISA Vice President Karin Sierralta has been a reliable informant for my research. Seeing as he’s hard at work preparing for the ISA World SUP Championships to be held in Lima between February 24 and March 2, I figured I’d get a few of his thoughts on the upcoming event.
How has SUP evolved in Peru and in South America in recent years?
KS: Surf contests and events have always been and will always be a great publicity tool for the growth and promotion of the sport. In Latin America, the growth of all varieties of surfing, including Stand-Up Paddling, has been impressive in recent years.
Unlike other contests that are held down in Punta Hermosa or up north at the points, this contest happens in the city of Lima, right on the beaches of La Pampilla in Miraflores, just down the road from event partner Club Waikiki. How does this event bring surfing right back to the heart of Lima and Peru’s original beach culture?
KS: Peru has many world-class waves but for the SUP event we were also looking for a natural setting, a good location for [Stand-Up] heats and the [prone paddling] races. The Costa Verde in Miraflores [district of Lima] not only combines waves and a good contest setting but also great hotel infrastructure, local amenities, and security in the district, which is excellent.
Will there be a live webcast this year? Where can we find the webcast online?
KS: This year the broadcast will be featured on the official ISA web page with production provided by Terra.com.pe, the event’s primary media partner.
What makes Lima an ideal venue for the ISA World Standup Surfing Championships?
KS: Lima is a truly interesting surf city. It’s cosmopolitan like the other great urban capital cities of the world, yet the main difference is that we have a really dynamic coastline, full of consistent waves.
Do you have any predictions for this year’s ISA Standup event? Is there anything we should be watching for?
KS: The first year was an opportunity for the countries to gauge their strengths and preparation. Australia, as always, demonstrated great ability and won the inaugural event. This year, many countries will revise their teams and tactics in order to better compete. It will be a pleasure to see who makes history. I want to see the Hawaiians, French, Americans, South Africans, Brazilians, and Peruvians battling the Australians in the fight to become World Champions.