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Surf’s Up!

Roxie Baggott and Phoebe Rak | February 7, 2018

Senior Ross Fulkerson catches a wave

Whether you’re waving from the surf or surfing on a wave, the d.tech surf club has opportunities for all types of surfers. Juniors Lydon Fuller and Anna Grinberg founded a surf club that meets every weekend, where surfing enthusiasts can come together and catch some waves in Half Moon Bay.

Fuller began surfing when he was 12, but hadn’t fully gotten into it until his parents got divorced, around a year and a half ago. “I look at it like meditation almost, you go out and you surf and the only thing you’re worrying about is the moment,” says Fuller. Because he lives in Half Moon Bay, Fuller can surf most days after school and works at a surf camp in the summer.

Grinberg developed her passion for surfing after a camp she recently attended. She explains how she started talking to English teacher Patrick Sullivan and he mentioned that Fuller was also interested in starting a surfing club. “We thought it would be fun if we could go out once a week and just get some people to come surf with us,” she explains.

Anyone can join the Surf Club. In general, the surfing community tries very hard to be welcoming to people who want to surf with them. Some students join the Surf Club knowing how to surf, while others come with no experience at all. If someone is new or can’t afford a wetsuit or board, the Surf Club will provide those things for them using club funding.

Another member of the Surf Club, senior Ross Fulkerson, also represents d.tech surf culture.  He has a different relationship with surfing than the laid back, meditative version Fuller experiences. Although he finds surfing very soothing, he is also strategic and more hardcore. He says he believes that “To catch a wave you have to be very methodical and patient to not go out too soon.” Fulkerson was recently introduced to surfing last January, and for the last few months has been going to the beach after school every Tuesday.

Fulkerson has a more hardcore approach. Photo provided by Ross Fulkerson

Fuller agrees that surfing makes him more relaxed, but he also talks about how surfing has taught him how to be a leader, how to organize his work, and be a better person in general. “It’s made me more laid back as an individual. Not so stuck up, I live super simple,” he says. Additionally, Fuller believes surfing positively impacts his academic rigor: “It’s like motivation for me, I know if I do well at school I can surf.”

An essay written by board-certified neuropsychologist Dr. Karen Postal backs Fuller’s claim, showing that exercise directly correlates to better grades. Fulkerson also feels like he is better able to focus on his schoolwork after surfing. “It is always easier for me to work after I’ve exercised. That’s why I do core workouts before FIT or pushups at lunch… it just calms me down,” he says.

This school year, the surfing community at d.tech has become more prominent. Fuller says that the club has given him opportunities to meet new people he wouldn’t have usually, creating a community in itself. “Everyone talks to each other in the hallways and will be like, ‘Hey are you coming this weekend?’ or it’s like, ‘Aw, I won’t make it this weekend.’” Fuller explains. “We also catch up over text in the group chat… We’ll all meet up at the beach, surf for a few hours, get out of the water, kind of part our ways.“

Though the surf club has already come so far, they’re still looking to build the community further. Because some of the kids coming to the club don’t know how to surf, they don’t have boards and wetsuits, the surf club would like to fundraise for new materials in the future. “We’d love to have wetsuits and stuff to give to people if they didn’t have the materials to go out,” Fuller says. Between surfing, teaching, and fundraising, the community continues to grow and flourish as a kind and welcoming group.

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