Program Founder/ Director of Ocean Operations
Van Curaza, a surfer for over 45 years, is the program founder of Operation Surf. Once a professional surfer, Van has dedicated his life to helping others through surfing. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including ESPN and Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine, and has earned him the first annual Blue Mind Award. He has recently been featured in the award-winning Netflix documentary, RESURFACE. Additionally, his work has been featured in the first study of its kind on surfing as an alternative treatment for veterans with PTSD by Dr. Russell Crawford, “The Impact of Ocean Therapy on Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
Van created Amazing Surf Adventures to help at-risk youth. Having experienced his own struggles in his youth and through his own struggles with addiction, Van turned to surfing throughout his life as a means to stay positive. With hopes of being of service and passing on this positive experience, he set out to help others, particularly veterans, which is how the Operation Surf programs were developed and created. Through Operation Surf, he helps others do the same.