This brief provides lessons learned by South African non-government organization, Waves for Change (W4C), with specific reference to promoting gender equality in the sport for development sector1. By fusing the rush of surfing with evidence-based mind/body therapy, W4C provides a child-friendly mental health service to vulnerable and differently-abled children and youth living in under-resourced communities. The surf therapy program provides children with a safe space (both physical and emotional), caring mentors and weekly surf sessions; helping children to develop skills to cope with life's challenges and make positive life choices. Established in 2011, W4C has grown from reaching a handful of children to engaging over 800 vulnerable children and young people weekly. W4C continues to prioritize organisational learning to improve the quality of program delivery and share meaningful recommendations with organizations working in the sport for development space.