UCSD surf team qualifies for nationals

    The UCSD surf team competed in the state championships at Churches State Beach in San Clemente against the top 13 teams in the state on May 10.

    Courtesy of UCSD surf team

    The surf team narrowly lost to Mira Costa College by a score of 99-94, but UCSD’S Zach Plopper and Loyrn Wilson won the coveted men’s and women’s state title, respectively. Despite a second-place finish, the five-time national champion surf team will be entering nationals, which take place on June 21 and 22 at Dana Point, Calif., with a second-place seed, and hope to bring a sixth national title to UCSD.

    The surfing season, which consists of four events throughout the year, with 25 teams competing, saw the UCSD surf team take first, second, third and fifth place. The team finished the season in second place and was the highest rated four-year university in the National Scholastic Surfing Association.

    “”We had a big comeback this year — the surf team is back,”” said co-captain Clinton Edwards. “”And we’re looking forward to an even better year next year. We have a professional surfer, and a Peruvian junior national champ who will be joining our team next year.””

    Courtesy of UCSD surf team

    The surf team’s success is a reflection of its strong history and incredible resources. The team’s five national titles is the second best total in NSSA history, and the surf team is over 20 years old, making it one of the longest running club sports at UCSD.

    “”Sports Illustrated has rated us the ‘Best Surf School in the Nation,’ and Surfing Magazine has rated us both the ‘Best Surf School,’ and ‘School with the Best Surfing Alumni,'”” said co-captain Aaron Napier.

    Such accolades help UCSD draw some of the best surfers in the country. Some of the alumni that make up the great UCSD surfing teams of the past include Rusty Presiendorfer, owner of the Rusty brand of clothing and surfboards, Evan Slater, editor of Surfing Magazine, and professional surfers Brian and Kent Doonan, Sean Hayes, Allen Johnson and Holly Beck.

    The surf team practices almost exclusively at Blacks Beach, across the street from campus, and even hosts a tournament there during the year, making UCSD the only team to host a tournament at its own beach.

    “”Most surfers know about the surf team here and its tradition. They really want to be a part of it,”” Napier said. “”We have the key to Blacks, which means we can drive down to it, while everyone else has to walk.””

    “”Every year when we hold the contest at Blacks, all the schools get to see how lucky and fortunate the UCSD surf team really is,”” Napier said.

    Noting the prominence the surf team has in the surf community and its storied history, many companies jump at the opportunity to sponsor them.

    “”Our sponsors have been crucial to our success this year, and we want to thank them all,”” Edwards said.

    The surf team recruits most of its members through tryouts, which they hold during the first three weeks of the new school year.

    “”A lot of people don’t even know how to join the team — I just happened to stumble across a flyer myself,”” Edwards said. “”We’d like everyone to come out to tryouts next year though. We had a big success this year thanks to our sponsors, and we hope to have an even greater one next year. It’s a day of free food, prizes and just a lot of fun.””

    Beyond practicing and holding official tournaments, the surf team holds events such as movie screenings in the Price Center, and alternative-style contests, which are surfing contests open to the general public and surfers of all skill levels.

    “”Everyone should come and try out, or at least hang out and have a day of fun,”” Edwards said.

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