Surfing is a fantastic tool to build relationships and can enable positive transformations within ourselves, inter-communally, and along the coastlines. Unstructured play in wild settings, surfing promotes the cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional development of young people while also engendering values for a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship. On a planet contending with climate change and a collapsing ocean, surfing's relevance as a kind of nature play engages the next generation who will face the most critical social-ecological challenges to humanity's sustainable future.  When the ocean is envisioned as a playground, we want to protect it like anything we love. Surfing enables that emotive response that often is missing in conservation education. 


For vulnerable youth growing up in remote or marginalized fishing villages, wave-riding is an opportunity to connect with a universal energy that has their back and feels more powerful than the problems these kids face back on land. A fun, playful, healthy source of joy, surfing builds self-trust and hope. For girls especially, surfing facilities an opportunity for self-expression when on land, it never felt safe or okay to do so. For kids who feel invisible or off-the-grid, it’s like someone’s drawn poverty’s thick curtains to let the light in and suddenly, they’ve been propelled into the spotlight. Surfing provides young people with a dynamic liquid stage for building self-confidence, resiliency, and a relationship with their natural environment.


Check out a few of our wave-riding and ocean play workshops! We partner with community-based organizations in ancestral fishing villages around the world engaging local youth through surfing to enhance programs, facilitate ocean literacy workshops, and outreach initiatives for women and girls. 




BTSI is a California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit working in solidarity with small-scale fishing villages to build social-ecological resilience through surfing, storytelling, and mindfulness workshops.