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Friday, December 2, 2022

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A member of the Center for Surf Research at a surf hotel in Fiji. A member of the Center for Surf Research at a surf hotel in Fiji.

Sustainable Surf Conference Comes to SDSU

A conference hosted at SDSU will explore the future of sustainable surfing.
By Jack Haworth

San Diego State University’s Center for Surf Research continues to lead the way in sustainable surf research by hosting the Sustainable Stoke Conference on Sept. 19 and 20 at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.

More than 100 academics and industry experts are expected to attend the conference, which comes as a follow-up to a collaborative book recently published by the center called "Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World."

“The book brought together the best minds in surfing and laid the groundwork for a global conversation on surfing sustainability,” said Jess Ponting, director of the Center for Surf Research. “This conference aims to continue that conversation.”

The conference will feature panel discussions and research papers about the future of sustainable surfing. This includes everything from using cutting-edge sustainable materials for manufacturing surfboards to minimizing the environmental impact of surf tourism.

“We hope to bring in new voices to talk about how surfing is being implemented and to ensure the surfing industry continues moving in a sustainable direction,” Ponting said.

About the center

The Center for Surf Research focuses on research to address the needs of surf location, surf tourists and surfers who place high value on the environmental sustainability of their sport. According to a recent poll of more than 3000 surfers, 93 percent would pay more for a sustainable surfboard and 76 percent responded that sustainability would play a significant role in guiding their surf tourism, Ponting said.

In the last four years, the Center for Surf Research has become a global leader in surf sustainability. Universities throughout the world are beginning to follow SDSU’s lead and open surf research institutes of their own. Many are sending researchers to SDSU for the Sustainable Stoke Conference.

“This conference will open up new relationships with professors from other parts of the world including New Zealand, Brazil and the United Kingdom,” Ponting said.

The Center for Surf Research also works to educate younger generations about the importance of sustainable surfing. Ponting currently teaching a freshman seminar, "Adventures in Surfing and Sustainability."

“The whole class is coming to the conference,” Ponting said. “I am really excited to plug them into this conversation and have them talk to leaders in the surfing industry about sustainability.”

The conference is open to the public and registration is $35/$25 for adults/students and seniors for the first day, $30/$25 for day two or $65/$50 for both days. In addition to access to all panels and presentations, registration will include coffee, lunch and a rooftop reception with cocktails and appetizers at the end of the first day.

For more information visit the Center for Surf Research website.