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UC San Diego Again Ranked
Top Surfing Campus in U.S.

March 17, 2009

By Christine Clark

A global Web site that specializes in surf reports and live video cams has ranked University of California, San Diego as the top campus in the nation for surfing based on its proximity to the world renowned Black’s Beach, its nationally ranked surf team, lively student life, affordable educational costs and extensive offering of surf classes.

Photo of UC San Diego Students Surfing
The UC San Diego surf team practices every week at Black’s Beach throughout the academic year.

Surfline.com listed UC San Diego in first place followed by UC Santa Cruz, California Polytechnic State University, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Hawaii in its ranking of the top 10 surf colleges in America. UC San Diego is continuing to ride a wave of recognition as a top surfing school, also receiving recent top rankings from Surfer Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Transworld Surf.

“UC San Diego has high academic standards, but it’s a great environment for surfing,” said Tyler Callaway, coach of the UC San Diego surf team. “Our team has a lot of dedicated students and our surfers are the best of the best.”

Photo of UC San Diego Surfing  Student
Surf Team member Chris David hits the waves.

The surf team will compete June 17 in the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s national competition. The UC San Diego team, which practices every week at Black’s Beach, has made it to the nationals for more than 30 consecutive years and won six national titles.

Surfline.com’s editors also noted UC San Diego’s convenient location near Black's Beach. “As long as you can handle a hike and don't have an incurable point break fetish, you can ditch your car for a bike if you live on campus.”

This year, more students can be seen walking west from campus with surfboards tucked under their arms, according to Clayton Claiborn, UC San Diego’s Aquatics Director for Recreation.

UC San Diego’s Recreation Department offers surf classes to students throughout the year and more students are registered for spring classes this quarter than previous years. “Our program is now bigger and better and our classes are filling up faster," Claiborn said. "Spring is a popular time for surfing and the students seem to be really excited this year."

On April 1, David Sandwell, professor at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will offer “The Physics of Surfing,” a freshmen seminar that has a wait list. In the class students learn how surfboards follow the laws of fluid mechanics and also put that knowledge into practice.

Photo of UC San Diego Student Surfing
Surf Team Captain Marty Weinstein is a fierce competitor on the waves and a surf instructor for the UC San Diego Recreation Department.

Whether or not UC San Diego students like to surf, they can easily find their own niche on campus, according to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue. “With more than 400 student organizations, there is something for every student who wants to get involved,” Rue said. “Any student can enjoy Black’s Beach and it’s fantastic that our unique location is great for surfing.”

Student and alumni surfers can join the UC San Diego Surf Club, one of the oldest and largest student organizations on campus. The group was founded more than 30 years ago and currently has more than 160 members. Students in the organization regularly hang out, surf and travel together. "There is a surf culture at UC San Diego, and this club is a great opportunity to meet people who you have something in common with," said Alex Israel, president of the Surf Club. Israel hosts many of the Surf Club events at “Surf Club House” in La Jolla which he shares with four other members of the club.

Photo of UC San Diego Students Surfing
UC San Diego’s nationally ranked Surf Team at Black’s Beach.

Surfline.com also praised UC San Diego for its famous surfing alumni, including: Rusty Preisendorfer, the founder and CEO of Rusty Surfboards; Ricky Grigg, a big-wave pioneer and professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii; Tom O'Keefe, founder of Red X Fin Systems; Isabelle Tihanyi, founder of Surf Divas surf school; Mark Massara, director of the Sierra Club's California Coastal Campaign; and Jon Sundt, founder and president of the San Diego-based Altegris Investments, Inc.


Media Contact: Christine Clark, 858-534-7618

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