Discipline of Surfing
Participants 39
NOCs 18
Competitions held 2 (Venues)
Distinct events 2
IF International Surfing Association


Surfing has been around for 100s, perhaps 1000s, of years. It was first popularized in Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands in the 19th century, and came to California in the early 20th century. By the 1960s it had become a popular meme in Hollywood movies and rock songs, notably those by the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. The first well-known surfer was the Hawaiian Olympic swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku.

At the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, surfiing was approved as a new sport for the 2020/21 Tokyo Olympics. It was one of four new sports added to the Olympic Program for 2020, including karate, skateboarding, and sport climbing. For the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, surfing will be contested in Tahiti in French Polynesia, which will be the venue the farthest from the main host city in Olympic history.

Surfing is governed by the International Surfing Association (ISA), which was originally named the International Surfing Federation (ISF) between 1964 and 1973. As of 2020, it has 103 member nations.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Brazil BRA 1 0 0 1
United States USA 1 0 0 1
Japan JPN 0 1 1 2
South Africa RSA 0 1 0 1
Australia AUS 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Ítalo Ferreira BRA 1 0 0 1
Carissa Moore USA 1 0 0 1
Kanoa Igarashi JPN 0 1 0 1
Bianca Buitendag RSA 0 1 0 1
Owen Wright AUS 0 0 1 1
Amuro Tsuzuki JPN 0 0 1 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Shortboard Men 1
Shortboard Women 1