Program FAQs

We are very proud of and grateful to our military personnel, and it’s our honor to be able to make Operation Surf, OS6, and The Canteen available to you.  Prior to completing an application, we encourage you to read through our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you have any further questions please Contact Us.

What programs are offered by Operation Surf?

We are proud to offer the following programs for new participants:

  • Operation Surf Week-Long Program
  • OS6 – six-month program available to local coastal veterans in San Luis Obispo, CA and Santa Cruz, CA.
  • The Canteen is our virtual online room where we connect every Mon/Wed/Sat at 10 AM PST to build foster community and connection with our veterans.

For more information on each program CLICK HERE.

The selection criteria varies for each program.  Below are the requirements for the week-long and 6 month programs:

Week-Long Program

  • Post 9/11
  • 1 or more deployments or MST
  • Complete application process
  • Part 1 Essay meets minimum length requirements
  • Active Duty, Active Reservists, or Honorably Discharged
  • Wounded (Visible or Invisible)
  • Available for Entire Weeklong program

6 Month ‘OS6’ Program

  • Active Duty, Reservists, or Honorably Discharged
  • Local to San Luis Obispo County, Santa Cruz coming 2021
  • Complete application process
  • Able to transport self to surfing locations
  • Available 2-3 days a week for group surfing
  • The Canteen
  • Active Duty, Reservists, Honorably Discharged
  • Complete application process

How much does it cost to be a participant?

The week-long program is all-inclusive for new participants.  You will be provided travel (flight or gas card for drivers), lodging, meals, professional one-on-one surf instruction, and all your necessary surf equipment for the week.

OS6 the 6 month program is for local military members and lodging and travel will not be provided.  Surf equipment is provided for the entire length of program and participants earn a brand new surfboard and wetsuit at graduation.

What do I need to bring for the week-long program?

  • Board shorts/ bathing suit
  • Sweatshirt
  • T-Shirts
  • Hat
  • Pants
  • One or two dress shirts
  • Day Backpack for the beach and travel
  • Beach Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • Sandals/ shoes
  • Camera
  • Medication (10 day supply)
  • Identification
  • Save room in your bag, you will be leaving with lots of goodies!

What is a typical schedule for the week-long program?

Click the link to view a sample schedule for the week-long program. Sample Week-long Program Schedule

Can I apply to multiple program locations?

Absolutely!  We only have 8 spots available for each week-long program so if there are multiple dates that you are available you can apply to multiple locations.  Our goal is to provide 6 week-long programs scheduled for 2021. We highly recommend joining The Canteen as well when you apply to any of our programs. It gives you (and us) the opportunity to get to know you and begin the connection prior to attending our program.

Can I apply if I have participated in an Operation Surf program already?

At this time our week-long programs are only open to new applicants but there are several alumni opportunities available throughout the year.  Click Here to learn more about all the 2021 Alumni Opportunities.

Can I bring my family with me during the week-long program?

The curriculum of our week-long program is specifically tailored to military members only.  We are working to develop a couples program and hope to pilot it in 2021. At this time we are unable to accommodate families, but we do offer additional programs that involve families like our Local 6 month program in San Luis Obispo, CA.

What if I need to cancel last minute?

Flight insurance is purchased on all flights.  In the event that you are unable to attend, we ask that you work with Operation Surf staff in providing the necessary documents for flight insurance reimbursement.

What if I don’t live in California near the program locations?

The week-long program is all inclusive and you will be provided travel to the specified program location.

What if I don’t get selected?

Limited capacity allows for 8 participants per each week-long program.  There is a waitlist for interested applicants that are not selected. We encourage you to keep applying.

What accessibility accommodations are available for my condition?

The safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our veterans is of utmost importance to us.  ADA rooms and shower benches are available upon request. Beach wheelchairs are available to assist with transporting in the sand.

Participants may bring their service animals if necessary.

What is expected of participants during the day?

We have experienced staff and support that are here to accommodate you and any day-to-day challenges that may arise.  However, we do ask that you participate in all elements of the program.

“Thank you to my new family, Operation Surf, for giving me another reason to keep moving – not just forward, but upward.”
– Michael E., Operation Surf

If you would like to support Operation Surf in some way, you can volunteer, make a donation, or become a sponsor using the buttons below.