“People protect what they love, love what they know, and know what they experience.” 

An initiative proposed by Venice Beach startup, StokeShare, to connect inner-city youth to nature through action sports. StokeShare sees surfing as a way to engage young people and inspire appreciation for the ocean. The program is called One Watershed, because everything we do has an impact downstream. The dual meaning for Surfrider is especially powerful.

If you’ve seen Surfrider’s Cycle of Insanity, you know the mismanagement of water is destroying watersheds, and therefore the beaches and surf breaks where they empty out. No matter where we live, everything we do has an impact downstream. This is as true in life as it is in the environment. Our actions impact the people around us every day. The positive effects of this are witnessed first-hand.


One Watershed events are held around Los Angeles. To date, StokeShare and Surfrider have held 8 events, partnered with 6 different at-risk youth non-profits, and introduced surfing to over 200 kids. The concept is simple: crowdsource boards, wetsuits and mentors from Surfrider Chapters and StokeShare’s sharing economy marketplace, bring kids from disadvantaged communities to the beach, teach them to surf, and then introduce them to the mission of Surfrider.

We’ve discovered two amazing things through this experiment. First, the volunteers that witness their surfboard transform a young person’s life are as impacted as the kids. Second, the kids discover their stoke and want to learn more. In 2016 we did three events with Stoked Mentoring and most of the kids attended all three. By the last event, they could have executed the Surfrider educational talk as well as a Surfrider Board Member.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

By connecting young people to nature through action sports, they’ll grow up more inspired to protect it.

Contact us if you’d like to help launch a One Watershed event in your community.