STOKE Certified has developed STOKE Surf – the world’s first sustainability certification program to cater specifically to the surf tourism industry – in partnership with the Center for Surf Research.

We put surf resorts under the microscope.

We put surf resorts under the microscope.

With 141 metrics and hundreds of subsequent compliance indicators, STOKE (Sustainable Tourism Operators Kit for Evaluation) Surf ensures comprehensive examination of surf resort operations and management, which is key to delivering accurate and transparent data to traveling surfers, neighboring communities, and resort management.



The STOKE Surf Certification criteria are based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), which were developed by an international collaboration of experts across a broad range of multilateral conservation and development agencies and refined over several years. They represent the best practice standards of sustainable tourism practice. They are however, necessarily broad to encompass the length and breadth of the tourism industry from the largest hotels in the developed world to the smallest tour operator in developing settings. STOKE Surf takes this globally accepted standard of operation and tailors it to the specific circumstances of the surf tourism industry.


The surf tourism industry is typically constrained by the nature of surf tourism itself. These include the self limiting nature of surf resources. E.g. there is no such thing as a large scale surf resort, cruise ship, or tour. As a result of the often remote settings and small scale of businesses within the surf tourism industry, there are constraints on the industry with regard to the adoption of capital or technology intensive fixes to many of the GSTC. The STOKE program worked in partnership with surf tourism industry partners committed to sustainability to develop criteria, metrics, and reporting procedures which represent best practices given the constraints of the industry.

The Goal

It should be remembered that the impacts of tourism can be positive as well as negative. The goal here is to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative impacts of tourism.

Stoke Surf

Stoke Surf

The 141 STOKE metrics and respective compliance indicators are divided into five sections:

  1. Sustainable Management
  2. Social and Economic Impact Management
  3. Cultural Heritage Impact Management
  4. Environmental Impact Management
  5. Surf Resource Conservation