About Us

We facilitate sustainability in surf tourism through research; Create life changing study abroad opportunities; and, duckdive the greenwash to identify truly “eco” surf products with our Sustainable Stoke Catalogue.

What Do We Do?

The Center for Surf Research is a non-profit research and teaching center housed in SDSU’s Sustainable Tourism Program under the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The Center provides leadership in the struggle for sustainability in surf tourism by:

  • Shaping responsible citizens through life-changing experiential learning opportunities for students and the wider community.

  • Creating and disseminating specialist knowledge to governments, the surf industry, tourism developers, destination communities, nonprofits, and tourists.

The Problem

As travelling surfers continue to expand their horizons to the farthest corners of the globe they too often create a legacy of soiled destinations, disheartened and distressed communities, and missed opportunities for tourism to create sustainable local livelihoods.

The Vision

By incorporating principles of sustainable tourism, surf tourism promotes healthy lifestyles and is a key driver for the environmental, social/cultural, and economic well being of destinations.

Our Mission

The Center for Surf Research is the preeminent resource for sustainable surf tourism researchers, tourism operators, communities, governments, and surfers globally.



  • Developing life-changing, field-based courses in sustainable surf tourism management;

  • Developing student internship and research opportunities in the tourism, surf, & non-profit sectors;

  • Seeking partnerships with and scholarships from the surf industry & key individuals;

  • Providing community lectures & learning/awareness events.


  • Enabling informed & effective decisions to be made regarding the management of surf resources;

  • Supporting the work of humanitarian and conservation agencies in surf tourism destinations;

  • Analyzing and assessing various models of surf tourism management

  • Exploring new ways to affect positive change through sustainable surf tourism;

  • Developing best practice codes of conduct for all stakeholders in surf tourism;


  • Providing access to existing surf tourism research and researchers;

  • Showcasing examples of best practice sustainable surf tourism;

  • Reviewing and links to surf tourism volunteer/philanthropy opportunities;

  • Creating a forum for discussion for surf tourism researchers and operators.

Our Roots

The idea for a university-based Center for Surf Research was born along the stretch of coral derivative sand between Periscopes and Lakey Peak in Hu’u, Central Southern Sumbawa in July of 1997.

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