The Daily Aztec

Surfing finds its wave at state

Petey Dyer

Petey Dyer

by Ceighlee Fennel, Staff Writer

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San Diego has a large surfing community and industry that thrives off the big waves and beautiful beaches. San Diego State is incorporating this key aspect of the community by having multiple surfing connections students can have access to on campus.

Some of these surfing shenanigans include the surfing learning community, surf lockers, surfing classes, the surf club and the Mission Bay Aquatic Center.

Surfing Learning Community

There is a learning community located in the Zura dorms on campus called Adventures in Surfing and Sustainability. Anyone can preference to live here whether they surf or not, and what better way to start learning.

Biology freshman Ali Gozzi lives in this learning community.

“I really like living here because we all like the beach and are interested in learning to surf,” Gozzi said. “Everyone is really laid back.”

People who live in this community are required to take a PSFA Sustainability 100 class and a university seminar. Other than that, these students get to go on field trips that give hands on experience with the environment to learn about sustainable solutions and the threats to surfing culture.

This entire learning community is connected with SDSU’s Center for Surf and Research, so the faculty get to work closely with the students in this field.

Zura features a large surf mural on a wall with surfboards mounted decoratively throughout the building.

Not only is the surfing aesthetic represented throughout the building, but Zura is also one of the most sustainable dorms on campus. The entire dorm ties into the Adventures in Surfing and Sustainability learning community.

Surf Lockers

Zura Hall also embraces the surfing culture at state with their surf board lockers located outside of the building. These lockers are large enough to fit almost any board. There is a water station near the lockers where people can wash off sand before locking them away.

Aerospace engineer freshman Jack Agtual has one of the lockers.

“They are great because they let students bring their boards from home, but the only downside is that there isn’t very many of them for the students,” Agtual said.

The lockers are given to students when they arrive on move in day, but it is a first come first serve hand out.

Surfing in the classroom

Some classes on campus combine surfing with academics.

Sociology 330 is a three-unit class about the culture and history of surfing. The topics range from the origins of surfing in Hawaii, to present day surfing culture. Differences between surfing cultures, pop culture and the interaction of surfing with the globalized society are also discussed in the class.

Other classes that include surfing are the one-unit ENS classes through the Aztec Recreation Center. There is both an intermediate and advanced surfing class.

Spanish sophomore Ben Cunningham has taken the surfing class.

“My favorite part was getting to meet a lot of international students. They are really into it because they can’t do it where the come from,” Cunningham said.

Students have to find their own transportation to get to the classes held at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center and the classes are usually once a week. People can rent wetsuits for one dollar a day if they don’t have one. Students in the class learn about the techniques of surfing, ocean swells, how not to get swept out to sea and other surfing lessons, according to Cunningham.

Surf Club

The Surf Club Team on campus is a highly competitive sports team that competes with other colleges.

They go to the National Scholastic Surfing Association to compete and have won many awards throughout the years. They won their third National Championship in 2013.

Journalism freshman James Dunn is a competing member on the team.

“My favorite part of being on the team is hanging out with all the guys on the team and meeting new people who are into the same things as me, like surfing,” Dunn said. 

Mission Bay Aquatic Center

The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is a resource for not only students, but for the San Diego community in general. It is run by Associated Students and UCSD Recreation, so it has a direct connection with the SDSU campus. ENS classes are offered through this center for credits. These aquatic classes include, of course, surfing.

Students get discounts on equipment and other activities through the center. 

Surfing culture is on campus if people know where to look.

“I feel like (SDSU) should promote the classes more because the one I am in now only has the surfing learning community students in it,” undeclared freshman Nick Langerock, who is a surfer and lives in the learning community, said.

Skating may be represented heavily, but surfing is starting to swell onto campus.

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