Catch a Wave

    Current Surf Club President Keith Eshelman didn’t even voluntarily join the surf club his freshman year.

    “”During my freshman year, some of the older officers grabbed me and one of the other officers, Charlie Paynter [next year’s president], and got us involved. We have been part of the organization ever since,”” Eshelman said.

    Since his first year, Eshelman has risen from performing menial tasks like calling members to inform them of events to running the club, which, at 214 paying members, stands as one of the biggest clubs on campus. During his ascension to the top, Eshelman has noticed a definite change in the Surf Club’s operations.

    “”One of the major improvements since I first started helping out was the access we have gained from the Internet,”” Eshelman said. “”We used to have to call all the members and tell them individually what events were coming up when. Now we just point and click, and about 300 people know what’s going on. Also, the membership has expanded considerably over the past years because we sit on Library Walk for the first week of school and rally troops to join the club and get a free shirt and other free stuff.””

    Eshelman shares his duties with Paynter, James Styles, Stewart Hindley and Ryan Matlow, all of whom comprise the “”Gurth Management,”” or officers, of the UCSD Surf Club.

    The club hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual Fall Classic.

    “”[The Fall Classic] is the biggest contest of the year. The sponsors are amped on it and give us a lot of products to give away as prizes,”” Eshelman said. “”The turnout is usually good and the final round is always fun to watch because the surfing level is usually pretty high.””

    In addition to the Fall Classic, the surf club also sponsors Learn to Surf days, in which they initiate beginning surfers and teach them surfing fundamentals.

    “”We do the Learn to Surf days at La Jolla Shores, which has been a huge success,”” Eshelman said. “”Only one out of about 75 people wasn’t able to stand up and ride a wave. But otherwise everyone got up and rode a wave, which is cool to see because of the exhilaration people experience when they surf for the first time.””

    Although Eshelman won’t be president next year, his goals for next year’s surf club include putting on more events.

    “”My goals are for the club to continue to have some sort of an event every two weeks or so like we have done this year,”” he said. “”It gets a lot of people together that would have never been able to meet. Also, I want Charlie, next year’s president, to have more parties and lots of drinking activities.””

    While surfing is the main concentration of the club, there is also a social aspect that separates the Surf Club from sport clubs. The Surf Club puts on many social events. The club’s next planned event is its semiformal on June 2.

    “”[It] will no doubt be off the hook with sick DJs, lots of dancing, and of course the essential ingredients: lots of booze and Team Gurth in its element,”” Eshelman said.

    Anyone interested in taking up surfing is encouraged to join the surf club.

    “”It has been a great way to meet the surfing culture at UCSD,”” Eshelman said.

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