Surf’s Up!

With more than 20 million surfers worldwide, Panama is looking at the sport as a key ingredient in tourism development.

Among the advantages of this tourism generating sport is the fact that it does not require much infrastructure in order to start generating revenue, what really counts is the impact of the waves, which is a natural resource says CentralAmericaData.

Fernando Aguerre, President of the International Surfing Association(ISA), says that they are looking for three basic elements when organizing events in a country: constant waves, a government that supports them and capable organizers . . .

“Panama has two oceans and an increase in tourism which has positioned our country in the top levels, there is nothing left to do but open our eyes and realize that tourism and surfing are two now inseparable allies,” says [Newsroom Panama]

24 surfing teams from around the world have just completed competing in the World Surfing Games in Panama. Team South Africa won the competition. Panama’s team placed 5th and Russia’s team came in last place. More and more you see folks traveling around Panama with suitcase and surfboard particularly around the Azuero Peninsula and Pedasi where some of the best surf breaks are located.

“This has been a very intense week of waves and hot weather in Panama along with the warmth from the Panamanian people who have welcomed us during this whole time,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre . . . To all of you that have come to Panama for this event, I give my warmest congratulations,” continued Aguerre. “Some of you are going to take home medals, most of you won’t, but all of you are champions for having made it to Panama as members of your National Surfing Teams. I hope that all of you will go home as friends of Santa Catalina, Soná and Panama and whenever you think of a surfing vacation in a good destination with warm water and good waves, you think of Panama.”

The swell predicted by Surfline, the official forecasters of the event, arrived with clean surf in the chest to head-high range. An onshore breeze picked up in the afternoon, but the waves remained consistent and pumping all day.

The perfect reef break of Santa Catalina allowed the world’s best surfers to compete at their highest potential and fight for the Team Championship and individual Gold Medals. []

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