Sometimes it’s easy to forget that surfing is a business. It is, after all, the “surf industry.” A large part of surfing is centered around selling boards, products, getting views, getting clicks, etcetera. But outside of the big-name brands and money driven businesses, there are a number of surf non-profits that are centered around giving back. Here are five incredible non-profits that are doing amazing work for the surf community.
Founded in 2015, MeWater is a non-profit whose mission is to educate, inspire, and empower youth and families through the magic of Mother Nature. Run by surfers and mental health professionals in San Francisco, California, they provide day and overnight camps for youth, families, and groups and work to address trauma and stress in young people from backgrounds of poverty and violence. Run almost entirely by volunteers, MeWater is proud to offer their programs 100 percent free to participants.
Founded by five-time world champion Carissa Moore in 2018, Moore Aloha is focused on inspiring young women and quite literally, spreading aloha. The non-profit hosts three to four events a year where the girls participate in activities like surfing, lei making, journaling/goal setting, beach cleanups, and more. The organization’s core values are centered around love (a pillar of Moore’s philosophy) and treating yourself, others, and the world with kindness.
The Surfrider Foundation is “dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network.” The non-profit fights for plastic education, ocean protection, beach access, coastal preservation, and clean water. The Surfrider Foundation’s programs include the Blue Water Task Force, Ocean Friendly Gardens, Ocean Friendly Restaurants, Rise Above Plastics, and beach cleanups — all while fighting policy and development projects that are detrimental to our coastal environments. With chapters, programs, and volunteers across the states, the Surfrider Foundation is one of surfing’s biggest non-profits.
Using surfing as their platform, Sustainable Surf’s mission is to protect ocean health and reverse climate change. Founded in 2011, Sustainable Surf is a solution based organization and is determined, as the name implies, to provide a more sustainable future for surfing. A one percent For the Planet non-profit, Sustainable Surf has programs and projects such as SeaTrees and the ECOBOARD project that provide attainable ways for brands and individuals to have a positive impact.
Founded by shark attack survivor and pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, the Beautifully Flawed Foundation is all about encouraging people and offering hope to overcome adversity. Inspired by Hamilton’s strong faith, the non-profit focuses on three pillars to accomplish its goal: physical, mental, and spiritual. The foundation offers retreats, conference, and sends out first response care packages to families with an individual who has experienced limb loss.
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