Week-Long Program

About the Program

Our week-long program is an epic, life-changing adventure for our military and veterans. Bringing our participants directly to our programs within supportive coastal communities and exposing them to the healing power of the ocean.

During this all-inclusive rehabilitative program, large steps of healing occur for injured military men and women from all over the nation – including addressing deep grief by honoring fallen brothers and sisters, learning to build trust with new people, and accomplishing goals.

Each element of our program is an opportunity to promote wellness and introduce new tools and resources to our military & veteran community. The week consists of two days of travel and four days of adaptive surfing. Additional activities include pre/post-peer-to-peer support, a powerful opening blessing, daily yoga, mindfulness, group meals, nightly ‘Recap Reel,’ a closing award ceremony, and a healing paddle out to honor fallen heroes.

Application Information

General Application for 2024 is closed for the spring season. Check back soon for the fall season!

Quick Links

Program Dates

  • March 17th-22nd, 2024 (Santa Cruz)
  • October 6th-11th, 2024 (Central Coast)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included with the program?

The week-long program is all-inclusive for new participants. Participants receive world-class surf instruction, delicious food, luxurious hotel accommodations, travel assistance, peer-to-peer support, and all the resources needed to instill hope and confidence in the water, on the board, and into their daily life. 

These are all provided at no cost and are funded through generous financial and in-kind contributions from our sponsors and donors.

What are the criteria to participate?
  • Active Duty, Active Reservists, or Honorably Discharged Veteran of the U.S Armed Forces
  • Service-Connected Injury (Visible or Invisible)
  • Post 9/11
  • 1 or more combat deployments
  • Complete application process
  • Meet minimum essay length requirements
  • Available for Entire Week-long program
What if I don’t get selected? Can I apply to multiple program locations?

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

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?

Our week-long programs are only open to new applicants but there are several alumni opportunities available throughout the year that support ongoing care for our Alumni. Stay connected for all 2023 Alumni opportunities!

 

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 accessibility accommodations are available for my condition?

The safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our veterans are 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. Please let us know if you will be traveling with a service animal so that we can make the necessary accommodations that keep both you and your service animal comfortable.

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.

View a sample schedule for the week-long program.

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 provide an opportunity for families to connect virtually and join us in our daily ‘Recap Reel’ where we share the day’s highlights and photography. 

We also offer additional programs that involve families including our local three-month program, OS3.0, in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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

2023

"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

2022

"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

2022