Surf team looks to improve on recent success

PLNU’s surf team finished third in the National Scholastic Surfing Association [NSSA] surf competition at Blacks Beach October 24 and 25 in La Jolla. This contest marks the first of four competitions throughout the year until the State and National Championships in March and June.

As part of the Southwest division, PLNU is ranked first in California as of last year. In a 2011 Surfer Magazine article, PLNU was listed as one of the top surf schools to attend in California.

In an interview with team captain Jeremy Carter, he said PLNU’s surf team won both the State and National championship last year. To qualify for those championships, the team must place in the top half out of the other colleges competing, which includes fifteen other colleges in California.

“This first contest was pretty disappointing – getting third, honestly – because we have the best field of surfers out of any school,” Carter said. “So hopefully this will just fire us up and we’ll do well at Seaside. We just underperformed for how much talent we have.”

A few surfers on the team did not show up, said Carter. Had they shown up, the team would have placed second or first place because they would have received more points.

“But we did well, considering we were at a disadvantage from the first round,” Carter said.

Two of the women on PLNU’s surf team placed. Kiana Fores, an O’Neill team rider- a well-renowned surf brand- placed first at Blacks beach. Sara Locke made the semi- finals placing fifth.

Carter, who has competed in a few World Qualifying Series [WQS] events, said PLNU is a great school for recruiting skilled surfers.

“We have good freshmen coming this year,” Carter said. “And the reason why surfers are choosing to come to this school is especially be- cause we have such a successful surf team. So it’s more enticing for [those students].”

Most colleges fortunate enough to have a surf team only have one team. However, because many surfers attend PLNU, the school allows the team to have two teams: an A team and a B team.
Rather than give nine people the opportunity to compete against other colleges by having one team, PLNU helps financially to allow 18 people compete in surf competitions by paying for contests for two teams to compete.

Another notable member of the surf team is Senior Jack Boyes, who is Co-Captain on the team. Boyes competed in the Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz October 16th-18th.

This contest is worth 1,500 points, which means that it is a qualifying series event run by the World

Surf League [WSL]. In order to qualify for the world tour, one must accumulate enough points through qualifying contests.

“The ideal situation would be to make the tour,” said Boyes. “But it’s a lot of steps in order to get there. So I guess my next move would be focusing on doing more qualifying series events after I graduate. But then along the way, I’m obviously taking it step by step and seeing how it goes.”

The Cold Water Classic is only worth 1,500 points, however, there are other events that can be worth up to 10,000 points. Winning one con test does not guarantee a spot on the world tour. In order to place for the tour, one must gather enough points over time, which lies between 18,000 and 20,000 points.

Freshman Kirk Weissinger also competed in the Cold Water Classic up north. As his first time competing in this contest, Weissinger made the first heat, but then lost in the next round. He entered through the WSL point system from enough points he earned in past contests.

“I was hoping to get first, but I didn’t. [Placing for the tour] is defi- nitely a far off goal, but it’s probably not realistic. I’m just trying to not make that my whole life,” said Weissinger.

The Cold Water Classic has
been a difficult contest to compete in throughout the past. However, Weiss- inger said that WSL made it easier to participate in by lowering the amount of points necessary to compete.

At the Cold Water Classic, Boyes placed 17th out of 96 competitors. However, Boyes said he was hoping to place higher after finishing third last year. At the Blacks competition, Boyes placed second out of 168 surfers in the men’s division. First place went to Jason Belgau from San Diego Mesa Community College.

Carter, who placed fourth at Blacks, said that PLNU’s greatest competition is Saddleback Community College. Before he transferred to PLNU, Carter attended Saddleback.

If prospective students are curious about joining PLNU’s surf team, the team typically holds tryouts after the first two weeks of school each September.

Until then, students can support the team by showing up to their next contest November 14th and 15th at Seaside Reef in Cardiff by the Sea.





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Jayme O'Hanlon

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