PLNU Surf Team Dominates at Huntington Beach Competition

PLNU Surf Team after winning first place overall at Huntington Beach. Photo credit to Noah Kawaguchi.

Point Loma Nazarene University’s surf team crushed the competition once again at the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) West Coast College Season Event No. 3 at Huntington Beach Pier on Jan. 21-22. 

PLNU dominated the men’s shortboarding final with Makana Franzman finishing first, Jackson Butler finishing second and Dylan Franzman finishing third. 

On top of winning the competition, Franzman, a first-year business major, was also the NSSA’s surfer of the week. Franzman overcame a few hurdles with his win as well; he was just coming off shoulder surgery.

“After finishing a four month recovery from shoulder surgery, this was my first contest back. This was also my first college contest competing along with a team,” he said.

Women’s shortboarding boasted a fourth place finish by Zoe Bonik, and longboarding had a fourth place finish in Chase Adelsohn. 

In 2022, PLNU’s surf team finished second in the NSSA National Championship and boasted the longboarding champion in Adelsohn. Huntington was an opportunity for the team to continue its stretch of dominance after an impressive win at Black’s Beach on Oct. 22-23, where the team broke the record for most points scored in NSSA collegiate surfing by 15 points. 

At the Huntington competition, the team broke their own record again scoring 197 points. 

NSSA scoring works like this: If a surfer on a team gets first place in their heat, they contribute six points to their team, then five points for second, continuing until the sixth place surfer contributes one point. 

Team captain and third-year business management major Jackson Butler was impressed with the team’s performance at Huntington.

“The team did incredibly well,” he said. “The team’s clicking this year.”

Butler also believes that this is one of the best rosters that not only PLNU has had but one of the best in the NSSA. 

“We have one of the most talented rosters. Our one through six is one of the best there is,” Butler  said. 

It’s not only men’s shortboarding that has been dominating, but women’s shortboarding and longboarding have been solid as well. 

“Zoe [Bonik] has been incredibly consistent and we have the defending national champion at longboarding in Chase Adelsohn,” Butler said. 

The forecasts weren’t perfect on the weekend of the Huntington event, but Butler explained how the conditions ended up being better than the forecasts predicted. Saturday provided the team with some offshore winds. Offshore winds are winds that blow toward the ocean and are good for waves because it gives the wave more shape and form. 

However, there were also king tides the weekend of the competition. Surfers were catching waves past the Huntington Beach Pier when tides reached extreme lows. Second-year biology major and longboarding surf team member Andrew Kramer commented on the poor quality as well. 

“There were strong south winds and a lot of texture in the water. It was also only chest high on the biggest sets,” Kramer said.  

Franzman also commented on the rough conditions at Huntington the weekend of the contest.

“It was pretty hard to find waves with scoring potential. [I] was stoked to get a couple good scores to take the win,” Franzman said. 

PLNU’s surf team looks to continue its dominance at an NSSA competition in Santa Cruz on Feb. 18-19. 

Written By: Steve Anderson