Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education




School of Arts and Humanities


Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions


Brennan, M., Stain, H. J., & Marshall, J. (2024). Mapping the landscape: Surf therapy program delivery. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education. Advance online publication.


Surf therapy is a structured intervention which utilizes surfing as a vehicle to achieve therapeutic benefit (International Surf Therapy Organization [ISTO], 2019). Surf therapy is presently delivered internationally within a diverse array of contexts and populations. Despite the publication of many internal evaluation studies, little research has examined themes common to the process of surf therapy across programs. The present study recruited a sample of ISTO-affiliated surf therapy programs (n = 33) to engage with an online survey, Mapping the Stoke, examining core aspects of surf therapy structure and process internationally. Findings indicated both similarities across current program delivery internationally, with examples of primary similarities including target age (adolescents and young adults) and population (mental health), recruitment (self-referral), and structure (group sessions), geographic delivery (major cities) and challenges (funding). Areas of greater diversity included support staff (roles/qualifications), therapeutic aims, measures (outcome) and therapeutic structures. The present study outlines concrete structures and processes which appear integral to the delivery of surf therapy across cultures.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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