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By Eddie London, staff writer



The traditional student organizations included career-oriented clubs such as the Pre-Med Society, and clubs representing specific nations like the Swedish Student Organization. Other clubs, like the Hiking Club, the Dive Club, and the Surf Club met a unique criterion of being more than a place for people to advance their social or economic status.

Members of the Surf Club surf every day and schedules one or two club events per month for all members. These might be a beach cleanup day where club members pick up trash left on the beach or a field trip to a professional surfing event happening here on O‘ahu.

“ The Surf Club brings together people of different skill levels who enjoy surfing,” said HPU junior and Surf Club member Elise Freeman.” As Hawai‘i is one of the surfing capitals of the world, there are few better places to have a club like this,” she added.

“ The Surf Club takes people that wouldn’t normally get together or surf, and unites them with the common interest in surfing. “We take [learners and new surfers] down to Waikiki to surf. There people can rent boards and learn to surf on some of the smaller waves,” said Colin Gibson, an HPU graduate student.

People can do more than surf in the Surf Club, Gibson added. “The Surf Club involves everything to do with the ocean.” Members can body surf or skim board as they please. (A skim board is a thin, hard board under three feet long used to ride the shore breaks.) The purpose of the club is not only to get more people involved with surfing but to have fun and to be mindful of the ocean and one’s surroundings, he explained.

Unlike some other clubs, the Surf Club doesn’t pressure its members to do anything more than be a mindful surfer and to respect the surf community. This last means being aware of other surfers in the water, avoiding rude or discourteous behavior, and allowing local surfers priority over their local break because conflicts and confrontations may occur if surfers act inappropriately.

The club has no political, religious, or social agenda. It won’t pressure members to get involved with specific careers or participate in networking activities. Instead, the Surf Club helps people who may be new to the sport explore surfing and what it means to be a surfer as well as improving surfing skills.

The Surf Club charges no membership fee. The only cost members would have to cover is renting a board if they don’t already have one. The Surf Club offers no specific timeframes for lessons; nevertheless, members support and help each other build individual surfing skills.

Austin Tubbs, an HPU senior, club officer, and two-year Surf Club veteran said his favorite thing about the club is “to show people who don’t know much about surfing what surfing is all about.” Tubbs has been surfing for six years, and this is his third year surfing in Hawai‘i.

The Surf Club booth was busy as students of all athletic abilities and backgrounds checked out the sport and signed up on the e-mail list.

“ We probably have the largest number of signups of any of the clubs,” said Tubbs, pointing to a list of more than 100 names.

Students who would like to join the Surf Club, get a copy of the schedule, or get on the e-mail list, can e-mail Tubbs at hpusurfclub@hotmail.com.

The popularity of surfing in Hawai'i is made clear as hundreds of fans gather on O'ahu's North Shore for the Pipemaster Surfing Constest.
Photo Baxter Cepeda


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