Podcast: Viewing surfing through the lens of academia with Jess Ponting
Jess Ponting relates his early days in Fiji and then working his way around the Pacific to San Diego. He ended up there for life becoming an Associate Professor at San Diego State University and is the Founder/Director of Center for Surf Research.
He has an impressive resume: Dr. Jess Ponting is considered the leading academic and consultant in sustainable surf tourism. He holds the world’s first Masters and PhD degrees to focus specifically on this topic and is the world’s most published researcher in the field with 14 scholarly journal articles, 2 books, 2 book chapters, and 21 conference presentations. He is an Associate Professor in sustainable tourism at San Diego State University where he founded the Center for Surf Research in 2011 – the world’s first research center to focus specifically on sustainable surf tourism. He also co-founded Groundswell Educational Travel, a company that facilitates university students studying sustainable surf tourism in world class surfing destinations; STOKE, the world’s first certification program to focus specifically on surf and snow sport tourism; and SurfCredits, a program to raise money for non-profit organizations in surf tourism destinations. Dr. Ponting sits on the board of many surf-related organizations including World Surfing Reserves, National Surfing Reserves, and Sustainable Surf.
He has provided sustainable tourism consulting services in 11 countries and has advised the governments of several countries on the regulation and management of surf tourism. Jess also runs the annual Surf Park Summit event with partners Surf Park Central.
Main image by Sydney Ponting
- Why are these Swedes so damn happy? Oh yeah, they scored pumping surf for their national championships