I am currently part of the SBHS Surf Team. Every Wednesday, before school, we have team surf practice from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. In the beginning of practice, we start off as a group by stretching in a circle. After stretching, we split up into two groups; short boarding and long boarding. I am in the short boarding group, but on occasion I will surf a long board. Our coaches, JP Garcia & Isao Tomatsuri (aka Toma), talk to us for about fifteen minutes, giving us tips and helping us strategize for the next contest. Then we will paddle out into the freezing cold water and surf until our coach calls us in individually to give us tips about what we could have been doing better. We then paddle back out and surf for the remaining time of practice until we are called in by our coaches. Both groups then join together while we end practice with a discussion about what we learned. Then we get out of our wetsuits, eat and scramble to get to school on time.
Occasionally, on weekends we have team and individual competitions against other schools between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. This league is called the Scholastic Surf Series. There are a bunch of different schools that are competing in these surf contests at the same time with each surfer getting points for their school based on their performance. At every event our SBHS surf team goes directly against a different school. There are about six people in every heat, and the top three move on to the next round. There are judges who give you scores on your waves, and it can be very subjective. For example, even if you pull off a big turn or maneuver, if they don’t like your style you don’t get a good score. The highest score you can get on a single wave is a 10 point ride. They judge you on what maneuvers you are able to complete on the wave, and how critical they are. Each heat is 15 or 20 minutes long depending on if you make the final. If you keep making the top three in your heats, then you will eventually find yourself in the final. By the time finals come around, the wind has usually picked up and the waves are horrible. The morning is usually the best time for these contests due to the super clean conditions with nobody around. Our SBHS surf team has won every single match-up we have had with a school except for maybe one, and we only lost that one because half our team was in Mexico with the MAD Academy during that competition. After all of the finals are completed and the competition is over, there is an award ceremony. Mike Mccabe (runs the Scholastic Surf Series) calls each division up and gives trophies out to the finalists. The divisions are: Boy’s Short Board, Boy’s Long Board, Girl’s Short Board, Girl’s Long Board, and Coed Body Board. Trophies are given to the top six in each division.