On Saturday I participated in the new SDSU Center for Surf Research’s “Rising Tide” Conference. My talk was titled: “Sex, El Santo, and Saving Trestles: How Surfers Can Make a Difference.”
The conference was described as “an intellectual jam session on surf philanthropy and those who dare to care about surf destinations and their communities.” The conference included talks by Rusty Miller, Dave Jenkins of SurfAid, Steve Barrilotti and Fernando Aguerre. The theme of the conference was “The Audacity of Stoke.”
The center’s founder Jess Ponting is an Australian who has studied the impact of surf tourism in Fiji and Indonesia.
An additional panel on surfing non-profits included participation by Nick Muca of Project Wave of Optimism, Zach Parker of Walu International, Sean Brody of the Surf Resource Network and Dave Aabo of WAVES for Development.
These are all young guys attempting to work in Nicaragua, New Guinea, Africa and Peru on community development projects. All were very thoughtful and committed and to be commended for attempting to link surfing and community health and improvement.
Most people think of surfers and surfing as some sort of cosmic joke. But Jess and SDSU are to be congratulated for demonstrating that surfing is a issue worthy of academic study and that San Diego really is the center of the surfing world.
Thanks to Mariangel Garcia from Ripeando Magazine from Venezuela for sharing the photos.