In the North Pole Father Christmas’ preferred mode of transport is of course the sleigh pulled by his trusty reindeer. On the other side of the world in Australia it appears to be the surfboard after 320 Santas were spotted on Sydney’s Bondi beach in December 2015. They were all taking part in a successful attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest surf lesson, and at the same time raise awareness of mental health issues. The attempt was organised by a local retailer RedBalloon, surf school Let’s Go Surfing and OneWave, a charity which runs a surf programme to help those affected by severe mental illness and also bring the local community together. OneWave’s, Joel Pilgrim (Pilgrim by name…), said “We’re giving people routine and purpose which is key in someone’s mental health recovery, and also engaging them in an activity that is quintessentially Australian.” And it works. Researchers at the University of South Wales have studied the OneWave surf programme and found that surfing helped those dealing with mental health issues improve their everyday lives, social support networks, psychological wellbeing and of course their physical fitness. Australia is not the only place where surfing is used to help battle illness. In Biarritz France, a pilot scheme prescribes hitting the waves instead of medication for a range of conditions including depression. As for the surfing Santas, one of the 320 said “It’s good, it’s awesome, a lot of people, a lot of fun, a lot of energy [it’s] exciting” and he presumably finished with a good old Ho Ho Ho!