Surf at Sage: A Shared Passion for the Sport

With the increase of freshmen and more female athletes joining what has been a male-dominated sport at our school, the surf team’s future looks promising.

With the sea mist drifting in, gazing into the horizon isn’t the ideal beach activity. Lookout at the shore instead where you can see a cloud of black wetsuits: the SCHS surf club.

For over seven years, Sage Creek’s surf club has been riding the waves at local beaches. Today, they continue to meet up weekly at various locations in Carlsbad to surf.

Members of the surf club attend weekly practices, watch contests, and take part in surf trips and events. Those who are more experienced can join the surf team, which competes against other schools in Scholastic Surf Series competitions.

Each week, practice is held along the Carlsbad shoreline. Surfers and bodyboarders go out into the water and the coaches give them pointers and run practice competitions.

Junior and surf team member, Mateo Reeves, explained why surfing with the team beats surfing on your own.

“It just forces you to bring your best even when there’s very few people out here because it’s just that much better than surfing alone,” Reeves said.

A surfer maneuvers a wave while the others remain alert. Choosing the right waves is a big part of surfing. (Photo by Helen Hao)

Reeves has been surfing on and off for nine years and enjoys the friendly nature of the team. Other members expressed similar feelings.

Freshman Cambria Hackett has been surfing since she was in first grade. 

“I joined the surf club because I had been surfing for a while,” Hackett said. “I felt like it was going to be good to meet new people who already surf and just a good way to help me get in the water more.”

Other members of the club didn’t start until much later. One such example is sophomore Caleb Brewer, who is also on the surf team.

“I started at least three years ago, I think, and I have been doing it at least four or five days a week ever since then,” Brewer said.

A common thread among the surfers is a love for the sport and enthusiasm towards having more people in the water.

“I find it a really fun way to communicate with new people every time,” Brewer said, “There’s at least five or six new people in the water every single week.”

Jeremy Cannon, who coaches the surf team, has been surfing since he was six years old. His experience ranges from competing in high school to judging to surfing professionally for over a decade.

Together with other coaches, he helps the surf team prepare for competitions. During competitions, surfers have 15 minutes to surf, their top two waves are scored by a panel of four judges.

“It’s a competition of critical maneuver, speed, power and flow on a wave,” Cannon said.  “Your wave selection is always critical to your judging and really it just boils down to who gets the best waves in the 15-minute heat.”

Monthly competitions are held at different locations to avoid giving one school an unfair edge over others. 

Surf club advisor, Spanish teacher, and former captain of the Cal State San Marcos surf team, Analia Loevenguth, explained how opposing teams are matched.

“We compete in our division, division three, based on our school size we’re in a lower division. We compete in a contest against other division three schools.”

Surfers have the option to participate in the longboard competition, shortboard competition, or both. 

“I actually didn’t start surfing until I was a junior in high school,” Loevenguth said. “Now I’m much older and I’m still surfing and it’s like my fun thing to do, it kind of becomes like a culture.”

The surf team at a competition in 2015. Their most recent contest was in Point Loma against Cathedral. (Photo taken from Sage Creek School Loop)

The surf club was established around 2014. 

“Back then we were just a handful of surfers,” Loevenguth said. “Like five of us.”

They started out in division five and in the span of a few years were moved up to division three because of the surfers’ skill. Loevenguth hopes that more people will get into the water and surf continues to grow at SCHS.

Like many other sports, the COVID-19 pandemic affected both the club and the team.

“The year before last our season was cut in half and last year we didn’t have any competitions,” Cannon explained.

With the increase of freshmen and more female athletes joining what has been a male-dominated sport at our school, the surf team’s future looks promising.

“So what I consider this year as is a building year,” Cannon said. “Our team is young and we have about 25 surfers that are showing up at practices and competitions so I’m pretty excited about that.”