UCSB Student – Major: Surfing, Minor: Volleyball
The University of California, Santa Barbara is the only UC campus that directly borders the Pacific Ocean; the pristine beach that lies right off Del Playa and Campus Point, and is home to many water-based activities, including surfing! Surfing is a big part of UCSB culture, and it’s a great way to make yourself feel like a real Gaucho. The waves off of Campus Point are perfect for surfing; the major waves are blocked off by the Channel Islands so you’ll be facing smaller waves that are easy (and safe) to handle. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in the area, there’s many ways to get yourself involved in surfing and other water sports. The Surf Club and the Excursion Club both go to the beach frequently, so you should definitely contact them if you want to surf in a relaxed atmosphere. If you’re looking to step up your surfing game, the University offers classes through GauchoREC, which meets every Saturday morning and teaches you how to become a fantastic surfer!
Once you’ve learned how to surf, you need to visit Campus Point for some of the best waves to surf in Isla Vista. Parking here is typically metered by the University, but you also have the option of parking in the streets of Isla Vista and walking about a half mile in order to get to the beach. Luckily, Excursion Club provides gear rentals and wetsuits, so you don’t have to worry about bringing those from home. Wetsuits are necessary for the water that can reach mid-sub fifties during late winter. Near the middle of Campus Point, you’ll find The Breaks, a prime surfing location that has some of the best waves to catch off of its right-hand break location. Moving further down, you’ll find the Poles, which has more of a relaxed vibe for longboarding and stand up paddling (excellent choices for beginners). Going back up, you’ll find the Depressions breaks, which offer quick, speedy surfing for those of you looking for faster waves. All of these points are fantastic, and if you’re willing to drive further, there’s great surfing breaks at the well-known Sands beach, as well as down in Ventura. Surfing is a big part of Gaucho culture, and hopefully you find yourself a part of it; it’ll be an unforgettable experience!