First Descents Debuts its First-Ever Surf Program in Santa Barbara

First Descents is pleased to announce its inaugural surf- based adventure therapy program September 11-17th in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Denver, Colo.--First Descents is pleased to announce its inaugural surf- based adventure therapy program September 11-17th in Santa Barbara, Calif. In its 10 years, First Descents has grown from one kayak-based program in Vail, Colo. into 27 kayak, rock climbing–and now surfing–programs across the country and Canada.

First Descents is a Denver-based non-profit providing adventure-therapy programs for young adults (ages 18 to 39) fighting and surviving cancer. This first-ever surfing program is funded entirely by adventure brand, Teva and supported by Surf Happens surf school and El Capitan Canyon based in Santa Barbara.

The week-long surf camp is an FD2 program, meaning all are returning First Descents program participants. The program will include intensive surf instruction, ocean knowledge lessons, hikes, yoga, racing outrigger boats and plenty of fellowship and fun.

“Integrating a surf program into the First Descents experience shows just how far we've come and how much we've grown over the past 10 years,” says First Descents Director of Programs, Whitney Lange. “This surf program couldn't have been possible without the incredible support from our partners at Teva, as well as Surf Happens and El Capitan Canyon. This is going to be an unforgettable experience for our program participants and FD staff alike.”
“As long time supporters of First Descents we are proud to be a part of its first endeavor into surfing,” says Will Pennartz, Teva Lifestyle Marketing Manager. “We want to share the joy of the sport – both the thrill of riding a first wave and the therapeutic beauty of the ocean.”
First Descents kicked off its 2011 season with a new multi-level program model, consisting of FD1, FD2 and FDX, enhancing the program experience for first timers and returning participants alike.

FD1 is the original First Descents experience. It's a free, week-long whitewater kayaking or rock climbing adventure. FD2 is a week-long whitewater kayaking, rock climbing or surfing program for second and third-time returning First Descents participants. FD2 is designed to allow returning campers to build on their past camp experience and set new goals. FD2 program participants are encouraged to give back to the cancer community by registering for a Team FD challenge, with the goal of sponsoring a new first-time participant. FDX is centered on pursuing life-long adventure, connecting with fellow cancer survivors, and continuing to live the spirit of First Descents. Alum, donors and supporters are then given the opportunity to fundraise to secure their spots on these adventure trips.

About Teva
Since its birth more than 25 years ago, Teva has been fueled by water and is committed to protecting this invaluable resource. This commitment has led to a complete line of shoes made to perform in or around water, and is responsible for the brand's “Pair For A Foot” initiative. For every pair of Teva shoes sold, the brand will help protect a linear foot of global waterways in rivers, lakes and oceans. Teva is targeting to steward 4.3 million feet worldwide in 2011. For more information visit

About First Descents
First Descents is a non-profit organization offering young adults with cancer a free week-long outdoor adventure experience designed to enable them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.