About the Rincon Invitational

Home About the Rincon Invitational

Since its founding in 2001* the Groundswell Society has conducted numerous public and benefit events, including both conferences and benefit surfing events.

The Clean Water Classic (1997-2006) benefitted environmental groups focusing on protection/pollution issues at one of the best waves in the world, Rincon. Starting in 2008 the Society re-organized the event as an Invitational with invited teams being recognized for their public service and community-building efforts. In that sense, it is a benefit event that is not about surfers getting sick from the ocean so much as it is about surfers getting sick of each other. 

Of course, crowding in surfing is not new, and indeed it affects surfers just as much as pollution does. However, the way to solve the problem is simple: sharing waves in a true spirit of the original meaning of the word “aloha”: give away everything you don’t need. 

This ancient Polynesian precept has found ready acceptance by many surfers and a number of organizations who have been invited to the Rincon Invitational in recognition of their public service efforts to share the stoke of surfing.

These deserving surfing organizations send teams comprised of their volunteers to ride the waves at Rincon during a weekend in early spring. There is a friendly competition about riding the most waves, sharing the most waves, and how many surfers rode those shared waves. As a benefit event, the event also raises funds to support scholarships, and this year 100% of the net proceeds from the Invitational will fund three scholarships: 

  • The Sophia Tiar’e Bartlow Scholarship, administered by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara – awarded to a Santa Barbara area college-bound student/surfer with an outstanding academic and public service record; 
  • The Walter Munk Scholarship – awarded to a university-bound student planning to major in the marine sciences, and 
  • the Volunteer of the Year Scholarship, to be awarded to a high school student from the Santa Barbara area and administered by The OLAS Foundation and the Groundswell Society. 

*The Groundswell Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit organization founded by Jericho Poppler, Matt Meyerson, and Glenn Hening to establish a values-based influence on the world of riding waves. The Society’s Federal Tax Id No. is 77-0577448.