top of page


The term Sugar Surfing™ was coined by Dr. Stephen Ponder and Kevin McMahon in 2013. However, it evolved out of research collaborations leveraging the first cloud-based blood sugar meter system launched in the Fall of 2002. That research concluded with publication in the ADA journal Diabetes Care in 2012, among others, and included a finding that frequency of patient self-care review makes a clinically significant difference in overall diabetes outcomes.

With the maturity of continuous glucose monitoring sensors, their clinically validated method of technology enabled 'Frequent Pattern Management' took on new life in the form of 'Frequent Real-Time Management'.

Developing the surfing analogy was a lot more fun!

"His method essentially focuses on being extremely mindful of all your actions that affect blood sugar, and continuously looping through the four-step cycle of:

  1. Monitoring,

  2. Being "in the moment",

  3. Analyzing; and,

  4. Execution.

You are probably saying 'I already do this' and you would be right. But as has been written about by many authors, many of our decisions are mindless as opposed to mindful. This loop is a skill as much as it is a process. And as such, skills are practicable and can improve over time, or grow rusty with disuse..." 

- an online book review by Mike Barry for

These new concepts were first shared with patients in free workshops to people in a few cities in Texas, USA. Then, a facebook page. As that community grew, people began asking for us to organize the educational posts and discussions into a cohesive 'How to" manual. That's when things really took off.

The paperback was first published in May 2015 and mailed to more than 800 of our original Surf Colony; established via a crowd funding campaign several months earlier. More than 5,000 copies have been purchased by individuals, Certified Diabetes Educators, doctors, the National Health Service and companies including Pumps It, Dexcom and Diabetes America.


This was followed up the next week by a workshop for more than 350 people in London, UK. A year later, more than 7,000 people have either read the book, attended a workshop or participated in social media conversations about Sugar Surfing; the first and only sanctioned dynamic method of diabetes management in the world.

The next step for this dynamic approach to managing blood sugar levels in the moment depends on you, the person reading this:

  • if you're a pro surfer, please share your experiences with others including your medical team

  • if you're just starting, be patient. Learning how to personalize this approach takes time

  • if you're a medical professional, try to embrace the fact that with time and new technology change can be good

  • if you're a diabetes device manufacturer, understand that Sugar Surfing goes far beyond your user guide.

  • if you're a researcher working on the Artificial Pancreas, realize that:

    • A) it's already here (a highly manual version anyway); and,

    • B) Sugar Surfing is critical to the commercial success of AP systems.

bottom of page