In the News

Operation Surf has been fortunate enough to receive a lot of generous attention from various news media. We’re grateful for their interest in what we do because it helps spread awareness of the life-changing work we’re doing and reach more veterans in need. 

Visual Media

In the News

CNN article screenshot


CNN shares a brief look into some of the visible and invisible injures that Operation Surf’s program as we rehabilitate combat veterans through the healing powers of the ocean. As these veterans spend a week on California’s Central Coast, they build strength and confidence, one wave at a time.

Read more on CNN ›

CNN article screenshot

CBS News

“California group uses surfing to help veterans overcome trauma” Operation Surf, a California nonprofit, is using surfing to help veterans overcome emotional trauma after they leave the battlefield. Carter Evans has more.

Watch on CBS ›

CNN article screenshot

People Magazine

“Veterans Struggling with Mental Health Say Surfing Saves Lives: ‘Water Is Healing’ (Exclusive) interview. Thanks to Operation Surf, former service members facing mental and physical injuries are finding new hope…“The ocean is the place we go to help bring people together, to build a community, to heal and to develop new tools for living,” Curaza — the San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based founder of the nonprofit Operation Surf — tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.”

Read more at People

Surfer article screenshot


Surfer Magazine shares the journey of Big Wave Surfer and Operation Surf’s Program Founder, Van Curaza, as he recognizes the importance surfing had in his own life. Over the past decade, Operation Surf has supported veterans through powerful transformations like Martin Pollock, a British Army veteran who lost three limbs to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while fighting in Afghanistan.

Read more on Surfer ›

World Surf League article screenshot

World Surf League

“As anyone who has ever felt troubled and paddled out into the sea, breathed deeply, stroked into a wave, felt the swell lift you up and push you toward shore can attest, the healing qualities of surfing and the ocean on your psyche are not to be underestimated.” The World Surf League writes to highlight the launch of the Netflix documentary Resurface that explores the idea of the ocean and surf therapy.

Read more on World Surf League ›

Huffington Post article screenshot

Huffington Post

Huff Post featured Operation Surf’s week-long program highlighting our work with the Brooks Army Medical Facility in San Antonio, Texas. Operation Comfort helped bring eight participants to participate in an adaptive surfing program in Santa Cruz, CA.

Read more on Huffington Post ›

Sierra Club article screenshot

Sierra Club

In Sierra, the Sierra Club’s National Magazine showcases the impact of surfing and the ocean as healing for injured veterans, like Bobby Lane. Bobby, a Marine Corps veteran, experienced the first symptoms of traumatic brain injury(TBI) while still on active duty in Iraq.

Read more on Sierra Club ›

Sierra Club article screenshot

Whalebone Magazine

“People who help people tend to be the better ones out there. The ones who put their entire hearts and souls into giving someone else the experience of a lifetime. We really like these folks. This is why we caught a couple of waves with the good people over at Operation Surf, an organization dedicated to helping injured military and veterans achieve wellness through nature and community-based programs revolving around surfing.”

Read more at Whalebone ›

Program Testimonials

"Operation Surf was refreshing and fun! Of course, it was really great to learn to surf, but OS is so much more than just surfing. Never having surfed before and not being very comfortable in the ocean, I was forced to get out of my own way and trust the process. Being able to accomplish something I thought I wouldn't be able to do was very rewarding, and it ignited a fire in me that I had let go dim. I feel rejuvenated and self-confident again. I look forward to trying new things, going on more adventures, and enjoying the sport of surfing for many years to come."

SOF Participant


"The fact that I was able to completely disconnect from work and fully submerge myself in the experience without any obligations opened up many doors for relaxation, resetting, refocusing, rebuilding, bonding, and both personal and relational healing. We were both struggling individually and as a couple prior to this trip. The professionalism, relatability, enthusiasm, excitement, openness, and care that every single member of Operation Surf displayed towards us and one another was contagious. They helped us find our individual selves again and helped save our marriage."

SOF Participant


"Operation Surf was hands-down the greatest trip that I have ever been on. We travel the world for our jobs and get to see and do things that most people can only dream of, but that’s often filled with guilt while my wife is left juggling her own work, the kids, and everything else life throws at her. We spend a substantial amount of time away from each other with all of the trips, training, and deployments. Getting to share this experience with my wife by my side and finding a new, exciting activity that we both immediately fell in love with truly made this a trip of a lifetime."

SOF Participant