Our story


Impacting communities through training, selfless service, & action sports

Impacting communities through training, selfless service, & action sports

A New Surf Culture

Our founder Tom Bauer found himself dissatisfied with surf culture after moving to Hawaii to pursue his dreams of being a surf bum as a boy. He decided that it was better to serve the people around him than to use surfing as something to glorify a wild partying lifestyle. Tom and his wife Cindy started Surfing The Nations with the goal of mobilizing the surfing community to “give back” and be a blessing to the world around them. The first internship began in 1999 as an experiment in impacting the local community in Hawaii, and grew steadily, capturing the hearts of hundreds of surfers and adventure seekers looking to grow and serve others.


We are Surfing The Nations, a non-profit, humanitarian organization, run entirely by volunteers. Our desire is to see lives changed inside and outside of our organization, locally and internationally. We are a community made up of people who believe in using their talents and passions – from surfing and beyond – to give back and share a message of love and hope. We believe surfers have a unique call on their lives: to GO — to use their thirst for adventure to bring them to the places of the world that are in need. We want to give people a purpose and a desire to serve others and build friendships all over the world.

Huntington Beach

Californians have had a long term relationship with STN dating back to its founding days in Kalihi, Hawaii in 1997. It wasn’t until hundreds of Californian volunteers and decades later that STN California was even a thought for Zach & Charis Ifland. The Ifland’s and a select few started recruiting and serving at local sporting events and collaborating with other STN bases to develop an organic and intentional community for training and serving. Now, STN is ready to bring this community to Huntington Beach, California.

Known as “Surf City, USA” the city of Huntington Beach is located perfectly between Los Angeles and San Diego in the heart of Orange County. Over 16 million tourists visit Huntington Beach drawing in people from around the world with it’s vast array of exciting activities and attractions. Huntington Beach is the host to world class surf competitions, a thriving community of artists and musicians, action sport company headquarters, and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

With a population of over 200 000 there are endless opportunities for Surfing The Nations to make a positive impact in the community of Huntington Beach. There is a need to be met and with the help of committed volunteers we’re ready to make a difference.

Base Directors

Zach Ifland

Charis Ifland

The Thruster Model

The model is based on the revolutionary design of a three fin “Thruster” surfboard created in the 1980’s that changed surf history forever! It represents the threefold DNA of STN. The Thruster Model is comprised of:

  1. A business partnership
  2. A non-profit (STN)
  3. A Community Partnership

We plan to establish seven STN bases, in six regions around the world, over the next five years. We are excited to announce future STN bases in the following continents: North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Oceania. We desire to see the Thruster Model at each of our global locations.


Copyright © Surfing The Nations is a 501 (c) 3 tax deductible organization recognized by the US Government

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