Itching to catch a wave? Try Madagascar.

The California-based International Surfing Association says the island nation in the Indian Ocean has become its 86th member as part of a drive to promote the sport in Africa.

In a statement, the world surfing body says Madagascar offers more than 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) of coastline that have been largely unexplored by the global surfing community.

Blair Rogers, a surfing tour operator in southwest Madagascar, said Tuesday that the waves rival those in Indonesia and other top surfing destinations.

Rogers says visitors are initially apprehensive because of negative reports about security in Madagascar, a poor country with a history of political instability. But, he says, concerns are easing and his business has picked up since he opened it a year ago.