2020 ISTO Surf Therapy Symposium Making Waves: Through Inclusion, Diversity, and equality in the Lineups

The 2020 ISTO SYMPOSIUM will be broadcast virtually from Southern California on December 1-2 (for some of our friends, it will be December 2-3 ~ the Whova App will automatically show each Session in your time zone). MAKING WAVES: Through Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality in the Lineups will focus on the mental health benefits of surfing, creating safe spaces for BIPOC and other vulnerable populations, pathways to inclusion, ending sexism, stereotypes, and restoring the ocean to a place of healing for girls and women, and so much more.


We are stoked and honored to announce that the Special Issue on Surf Therapy Around the Globe has officially been published!

We are so proud of the incredible individuals behind crafting this huge step in surf therapy, and to every single person on the team involved that has made this possible. It is a beautiful thing to see so many minds from all over the world collaborate in this manner, truly embodying the ISTO logo “Go Far, Go Together”.

Sarkisian, Walter, Martinez, and Ward, the guest editors of the Special Issue, agree that the articles presented in the journal uniquely assist in furthering the knowledge base of surf therapy. To encourage the continued scientific evolution of the sector, the editors present “recommendations and considerations for future surf therapy studies.”

Lastly, the editors comment on the role of ISTO, stating that “this compilation of articles reflects the mission and values of the International Surf Therapy Organization. The initiatives of ISTO and how they are informed by the current state of science and practice are presented to pave the way for the future of the surf therapy sector."


International Surf Therapy Organization is a global community of surf therapy practitioners & researchers collaborating to advance the use of surf therapy as a health intervention.

SURF THERAPY(n) ~ A method of intervention that combines surfing and structured activities to promote psychological, physical, and psychosocial well-being.


If we had the entire world surfing, the fact is, we’d have a much more peaceful place.

Peter Mel, World Surf League, 2017.

Taking part in activities outdoors can do so much to build confidence, and the in-depth evaluation of surf therapy shows what great outcomes it can achieve.

Alison Johnston, MSP, Health and Sport Committee Scottish Government, 2018