Surf Research: Jess Ponting's open space office

How can surfing be a fully sustainable global industry? The Center for Surf Research is shaping the future of our sport's leaders.


Jess Ponting is the mastermind behind the Center for Surf Research, a non-profit academic bureau where everyone is invited to improve their knowledge and professional practices, within the surf industry.

Housed at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (San Diego State University), the research and teaching center provides leadership in the struggle for sustainability in surf tourism.

By promoting healthy lifestyles and good management practices, seeking win-win partnerships, creating awareness for environmental issues, supporting the work of humanitarian and conservation agencies, and sharing data, Ponting and his researchers may be on the path to change surfing effectively.

The idea for a university-based Center for Surf Research was born along the stretch of coral derivative sand between Periscopes and Lakey Peak in Hu'u, Central Southern Sumbawa, in July of 1997.

With 141 metrics and hundreds of subsequent compliance indicators, STOKE (Sustainable Tourism Operators Kit for Evaluation) Surf ensures comprehensive examination of surf resort operations and management, which is key to delivering accurate and transparent data to traveling surfers, neighboring communities, and resort management.

Visit the Center for Surf Research.