Surf Therapy Program for Women

Who is eligible to apply for this Surf Therapy Program?

This Program is open to women who have suffered from abuse or been exposed to domestic violence. Women ages 17 and up are encouraged to apply.  Applicants must be able to swim, but no surfing experience is necessary! 

What is this Program all about?  

The Program is a combination of surf instruction and land-based activities held in Spring Lake, NJ. Each Program is limited to a small number of participants. Surf instructors from Hammer Surf School work with the participants while in the water, and Brighde Dougherty of FLOW Leadership Academy and other OisF team members work with the participants while on the beach.  The Program includes time for hanging on the beach and engaging in talk circles, where the group is able to get to know each other and reflect on the surfing experience, among other things.  Activities on the beach provide opportunities for relationship building.  The Program is so impactful because it creates a sisterhood and bond over a shared experience - a place where you have a voice, where you recognize that you are not alone.

    What is the cost of this Program? 

    There is no cost to attend this Program. Your participation is funded by The OisF.

    When is this Program? 

    Participants will meet every other week on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. The exact dates will be provided early Spring 2024.  If a session needs to be canceled because of weather or rough surf, we do our best to reschedule the session at a time that works best for the group and the surf instructors.

    After the summer Program concludes, participants will be a part of a community of support and sea sisters - and will have the opportunity to attend various OisF-led events with other survivors and surf therapy participants throughout the year.


    In addition to the testimonials below, click here to read some extremely moving letters written by women who participated in the Program last summer.

    • This program was a much appreciated step on my journey to healing. The instructors were so kind and patient. Getting in the water each session was fun as well as therapeutic. I cannot ever thank the OisF enough for allowing me to be a part of this program and will forever be grateful I was a part of it.
    • The OisF is a place to heal a place to grow and a place to develop a sense of empowerment as a women as we ride the waves of life!!
    • I have learned and gained so much from this experience. Learning how to surf and actually surfing was an inexplainable healing experience. I am so grateful to the team for creating such a safe and enjoyable place to heal and grow.
    • This program was incredible. I enjoyed every minute and would love to join again next year. It gave me so much support, skills and empowerment for my life.
    • I loved the program. Getting to be in the water and also learn new life skills was amazing. It was much more than I expected and would participate again without a doubt.
    • I did not have any expectations for the group and was curious about what it would be like. I can’t tell you how much I have learned and grew from this experience. I would definitely be intersted in joining the program next year it would mean so much to me as support in my life is so much needed at this stage of healing.

    How do I apply for this Program? 

    To be considered for the OisF Surf Therapy Program for the Summer 2024, please complete this application.  Applications for the Program will be considered on a rolling basis. 



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