Senior Editor

The Inertia

Surfing is good for you, no matter who you are. It’s not just a physical thing — although that certainly is one benefit — but it’s good for the mind and soul, too. The act of simply sitting out there, waiting patiently, can be meditative. The act of riding a wave is one of those fleeting things where your focus is entirely devoted to a singular act. Not to get too sentimental about it, but I’d wager if more people surfed, the world would actually be a better place. Except for the crowds, of course. But surfing, for the most part, has generally been a thing reserved for those lucky enough to live within spitting distance of the ocean in little beach towns, and not so much for those who live in bigger cities where life moves a little quicker. Enter City Surf Project.

CSP uses surfing as a vehicle to improve the health and wellbeing of San Francisco youth. But it does a lot more than just take a few kids surfing — although it does indeed do that — it bases it all on four core principles: healthy living, personal growth, appreciation for nature, and equity in surfing. Those four things are the pillars of CSP. It serves five districts in San Francisco,Bayview, Mission, Excelsior, Sunset, and Fillmore, and with any luck, it will expand.

As part of its In Plain Sight Series (check out other installments here, here, and here), Red Bull pointed the cameras at the group to get a little better understanding of how things work. Surprisingly, some 80 percent of the youth of San Francisco have never been to the ocean, despite the fact that, if you’re in the city limits, the ocean is less than 10 miles away.


And surfing does have a large barrier to entry, which is what City Surf Project aims to break down. They have the equipment, the instructors, and the know how to get people who might not have ever had the opportunity to surf into the water. And that’s a good thing for everyone.


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