A hero not just because he’s one of the world’s best surfers, but because he’s a compassionate and committed humanitarian. A SurfAid Ambassador for over 15 years, Tom Carroll was alongside SurfAid staff in the wreckage responding to the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004.  Tom calls this one of his most extraordinary experiences of his life. TC returned to the Mentawai in 2008 with his then 13 year old daughter Mimi to celebrate the opening of a disaster preparedness centre. Natural disaster and giving back, like many big issues of our time, speaks to Tom’s profound sense of empathy, which has seen him volunteer at over a dozen SurfAid fundraisers. From in the water at SurfAid Cup competitions, in the kitchen at Surfing Chefs for SurfAid dinners, and on the dancefloor at SurfAid balls, Tom has helped raise over $1 million dollars for SurfAid’s programs bringing clean water and sanitation, basic healthcare, and improved nutrition to places where we all love to surf.

The USANA True Health Foundation partners with SurfAid to improve food security on the remote island of Nias


The archipelago of Nias is situated off the western coast of North Sumatra in Indonesia. Nias is a beautiful, wave rich island and  holiday destination, popular amongst surfers; however, despite this visiting wealth, Nias ranks amongst the poorest areas in Indonesia.  These wave rich islands are top tier destinations for surf tourists, but at the bottom tier for service provisions and poverty.  Step off the beach and into the small villages, and a different Nias emerges.  Seventeen percent of people live  below the  national poverty line – nearly double the national average; another 40% teeter dangerously close it. Poverty is one of the biggest contributors to food insecurity and malnutrition. Incomes are insufficient to meet basic household needs, including clean water and sanitation, basic healthcare and adequate nutrition.

Hiliduho  and  Gido  subdistricts  together  cover  more  than  a  quarter  of  Nias  district.  More than  50%  of  these hamlets  are  only  accessible  by  foot  or  motorbike. Average  duration  of  schooling  is  less  than  six  years.  Christianity  is  the  predominant  religion,  but melded  with  strong  traditional  beliefs.  Death  is  considered  preordained,  which contributes  to  low  health-seeking  behaviour.  Families  commonly  include  up  to  10 children. Women  carry  the  triple  burden  of  reproduction,  production,  and  community management  roles.  Nias  mothers  work  in  the  fields,  leaving  babies  at  home  with  older siblings.  23.6%  of  children  under  five  are  underweight.

Building resilience and improving food security is a national priority, however national policies and interventions often prove difficult to implement in the remote village contexts. Barriers to change include unique cultures and customs, isolation, difficulty accessing economic markets, and poor infrastructure.

Accessing these villages begins with a 4 wheel drive car down a dirt path and from there, a 2 hour hike or hair raising motorbike ride through the woods, across a river, and over a stream. During monsoon season this trek is made even more difficult, sometimes impossible.

SurfAid specialises in working in remote areas in Indonesia. There is a saying that the aid stops where the road stops, but that’s where SurfAid begins.

The USANA True Health Foundation mission is to ensure that impoverished children and families reach their fullest potential by providing food and nutrition globally. This is the first time the Foundation is supporting food security in Nias.


The 2019 SurfAid Cup Global Event Series Kicks Off in 

Santa Cruz and Bondi

One of California’s first south swells of the year helped launch this year’s SurfAid Cup event series in Santa Cruz, California on 28, April. Followed closely by Australia’s first event of the season at Bondi Beach on 3, May. Collectively, these surfers around the world helped raise $145,000 for SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health programmes, turning one day of surfing into a year of support for SurfAid partner communities.

Check out the latest update on the SurfAid Cup | Santa Cruz and USANA SurfAid Cup | Bondi for event pics and contest standings.

Next up, the series returns to California on 21, June when the Kelly Slater Wave Co. opens the doors of the legendary Surf Ranch for the first ever SurfAid Cup to be held in a wave pool. A select few will can surf the first wave of its kind, the best man-made wave in the world. In partnership with World Surf League (WSL) and Firewire Surfboards, this surf for SurfAid charity day gives you the chance to turn your day of surfing into a day of saving lives. 100% of event proceeds will support SurfAid’s global Mother and Child Health Program’s.

Visit the SurfAid Cup | Surf Ranch event page to learn more and don’t miss your chance to surf with SurfAid in all of our remaining 2019 events:

SurfAid Cup Perth – 3, August
SurfAid Cup Malibu, with Malibu Surfing Association – 7, September
USANA SurfAid Cup Manly – 27 September
New Event! SurfAid Cup San Diego, with Swami’s Surfing Association, 19 October


Rob Machado and Firewire Surfboards Auction Board in Support of SurfAid
In support of SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programmes, Firewire Surfboards and Rob Machado are auctioning off a signed, Moonbeam designed by the master himself.  Rob designed this LFT shaper while thinking of small, and weak waves, “The kind of waves I ride a lot here in San Diego, or an average day in Japan.” he says. The Moonbeam has Rob’s Board Eat Board concave built into its hull – this is Rob’s uncommon approach to enhancing speed without losing responsiveness, and it draws much intrigue on surf shop racks.  “The Moonbeam is meant to go fast and have fun” says Rob. Just like the Moonbeam, this opportunity will go fast. You can bid on Rob’s board up until 9:18 AM (US PST) on Saturday, May 25th. Board must be shipped to locations within the continental US and purchases are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Learn more about Rob’s inspiration for the Moonbeam and check out a video of Rob demonstrating just how good this board goes in your average everyday type surf.

Welcome to the SurfAid Tribe!

Thank you to our most recent new and renewing members of the SurfAid Tribe. Your membership not only saves and improves the lives of women and children, but also provides an additional level of certainty as we grow and invest in our communities.

 Paul Borrud, Sydney Australia
Peter Murphy – Sydney,  Australia
Bill Bemus – San Clemente, CA
Brian Bennett – San Francisco, CA
Dan Williams – San Clemente, CA
Danny Hale – Sydney, Australia
Ian Lyon, Atoll Travel – Foster, Australia
Joaquim Havens – Brookline, MA
John Botella – Bondi, Australia
Karl & Tia Luber – La Jolla, CA
Kathy Zappa & Pete Nizich – Rolleystone, Australia
Kim Sundell – Sydney, Australia
Leila McKinnon & David Gyngell – Sydney, Australia
Maria Shim – San Francisco, CA
Mimi Heman – Byron Bay, Australia
Ned Tannenbaum – San Francisco, CA
Nick Lattanzio – Encinitas, CA
Joseph and Karen Niehaus – San Francisco, CA
Patrick & Wendy O’Rourke – Sydney, Australia
Peter Wheeler and Elizabeth Munro Charitable Gift Fund – Weston, MA
Philip and Gwendolynn Potloff – Agoura, CA
Stirling & Chez Howland – Byron Bay, Australia
Stuart Gasner – San Francisco, CA
Tony & Lotti Van Merwyk – Byron Bay, Australia
Travis Bradberry – Solona Beach, CA
William Gwyn – San Diego, CA