Emi Koch, surfer and humanitarian, is the founder of Beyond the Surface International, a non-profit working around the globe in disadvantaged coastal communities to build social and ecological resilience through surfing, storytelling, and mindfulness workshops. Emi was named National Geographic Adventurerer of the Year for 2018, and she has recently been featured in Surfer magazine as one of the top women innovators in the industry who are “Creating a Line of their Own.” At the age of 19, Emi gave up a career as a professional surfer to instead focus on social and environmental impact,

specifically empowering underprivileged youth to improve their futures and be the author of their own life story. 

Emi is such a good example of blending her passions into a cohesive entrepreneurial concept. In her case, she figured out a compelling way to combine the things she loves: surfing and social justice, into not only a fulfilling career, but also something that truly makes the world a better place. 

I got a lot out of this episode, and I’m sure within the first few minutes you’ll realize, like I did, how truly infectious Emi’s positive energy is. Emi thank you for the amazing work you do and for sharing your story with us. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Emi Koch.

Episode resources:

Emi's Non-profit: Beyond the Surface International

Emi's Instagram

National Geographic Video and Article

A Liquid Future


Coast2Coast Movement

Surfer Magazine

Free Surf Magazine

Billabong Team Member Profile