After 7 years of serving in a variety of coaching positions for Surfing America, the current head coach of the USA SUP/PADDLEBOARD team, Ian Cairns, has decided to step down.
Cairns has led Surfing America teams to 7 ISA World Games around the world in SUP/Paddleboard, Longboard and Surfing. Winning team Gold 3 times, mostly recently with SUP/Paddleboard at the 2015 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard games in Sayulita, Mexico.
“Serving Surfing America as it’s head in a variety of disciplines on the world stage has been one of the greatest honors I have had in my career. After winning another world title, I feel it’s time to step aside, focus on my business and immediate family.” Said Cairns, “Leaving Surfing America after our Gold medal win in Mexico, has been a challenging decision, but I do feel it’s time for new leadership to further elevate our program and continue to strengthen this sport.”
Greg Cruse, Surfing America’s executive director added; “I personally want to thank Ian for his dedication to Surfing America. There is no question that he has had a positive impact on countless young men and woman and has laid the foundation for the future as we move forward with Surfing America. He goes out as the most successful coach in Surfing America history.” Added Cruse, “All the day to day responsibilities for the USA SUP/Paddleboard team through this transitional time are rolling up to me.”
“I’m taking the opportunity now to look across the landscape of our sport, speaking to industry leaders and athletes to develop a solid plan for future success.” Surfing America’s executive director further adds that the upcoming changes will be inclusive of a new coaching structure, multiple coaches and a national qualifying system for future selections of USA SUP/Paddleboard teams.
Surfing America is the ISA-recognized National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, Stand Up Paddling, Paddleboarding, Bodyboarding, and Surfriding. http://surfingamerica.org
Alisa, Malachai and I had a great time this past weekend at the US Champs. Thanks for staging a great event and doing it right. It would be great to see this event grow into a clear favorite in the Sup world. There sure were some great young Sup surfers at the event, who will certainly become US Team members in the future.
It was unfortunate that there was a scheduling conflict with the Santa Monica event, meaning the US Team Trials could not be run at Oceanside, as it is a good location, but I am glad you’re planning a US Sup and Paddleboard Trials for October, post season for most paddlers.
As you are more than aware, the rigors of selecting a team, raising travel funds, coordinating the details of the travel and equipment freight and then coaching the team during the event has been really difficult over the past four years, however, two Team Silver Medals and most recently, a Team Gold medal in Mexico last year, have been really great, not to mention winning five of the possible eight Sup Surfing Men’s and Women’s Gold medals with great surfers like Sean Poynter, Izzi Gomez and Emmy Merrill!
But, I find myself losing interest in dealing with the whole US Team experience, especially as I have achieved my personal goal of winning another World Championship.
With this in mind, I have made the decision to resign my position as the Coach of the US Sup and Paddleboard Team, effective immediately.
I’m sure that you know that I 100% support the mission of USA Surfing in it’s quest to field the best possible teams at the ISA and the Olympic events, as they come on line, and the parallel mission of running the best youth development program in the country, I just need to focus on my work and immediate family, Alisa Schwarzstein Cairns, and the boys, as well as in-laws Richard J. Schwarzstein and Sande.
I have really enjoyed these past 7 years with the US Team, loved going to all those cool surf locations, meeting people from all over the surf world and making new friends with the many team-mates that have come through the program. There is no doubt that representing your country is one of the most satisfying experiences an athlete can have and I have been blessed in having seen the experience from both an athlete and a coach perspective.
When we started this journey, I never expected USA Surfing to be World Junior Champions and World Sup and Paddleboard Champions at the same time and be considering the very real possibility of an Olympic future. What a great ride!
Thanks for the support and you can expect Alisa, Malachai and I to be at next year’s US Championships, surfing our heats and enjoying meeting new people from all over America. All the best.
Ian “Kanga” Cairns
Cairns’ resignation post can be read here – https://goo.gl/gIF2FY