Senior Jesse Smith was first introduced to surfing as an eight-year-old in Hawaii. However, Smith didn’t fall in love with surfing right away.
“Surfing was very hard for me to get into and it took a while. I feel like most for sports, you can try out and really experience them in a somewhat short amount of time. But surfing is different,” Smith said. “In surfing, you need these perfect conditions and perfect waves which happen so rarely.”
Yet this struggle is actually what drives Smith and his friends to trek across Northern California in search of a good swell.
“It’s the search for the perfect wave and the perfect experience that pushes me to progress my surfing and to take advantage of what little we got,” Smith said.
While most local surfers would jump at the opportunity to have Southern California style waves and a similar surfing culture, Smith is satisfied with what we have in Northern California.
“[In Southern California], there is this culture where surfing becomes this aggressive sport. Around here, there are smaller crowds and so it’s more of close-knit, almost family feel,” Smith said.
Sophomore Corbin Mason has been surfing for nearly a decade. It all started on the beaches of Santa Barbara where he surfed as a young boy alongside his dad and uncle.
Now, if the waves are good, Mason and his friends will surf at both Ocean Beach and Cronkite as often as four times a week after school and during the weekends.
For Mason, surfing is a way to connect with nature.
“There is nothing else like it. You’re on something that the earth created and is constantly moving,” Mason said. “You can do other board sports, but it’s just different.”