CSUCI ranks among the Top 10 colleges for surfers

CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) has 26 majors, 26 minors, a top-notch faculty, small class sizes…and great waves.

CSUCI was just ranked 6th among the Top 10 Colleges for Surfers across the nation by College Magazine, a national college guide and quarterly magazine edited by students. The recognition comes as the University’s Surf Club competes in the 2018 National Scholastic Surfing Association National Interscholastic Championships June 15-18.

Surf Club President Claire Loughlin said her hopes are high that the team will do well again this year as the University boasts one of the most successful National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) teams in the nation.

“It started with Austin (Finley) and Chase (Stavron),” Loughlin said. “Austin won the state championship in 2016 and in that same contest, Chase ended up placing fourth overall. This year, our longboarder, Tomas Germann, has placed in the finals every single contest.”

Both Class of 2016 graduates, Finley, an Art major, took the College Men's NSSA State Championship title and Stavron, a Communication major, got fourth place in the Longboard division. Finley and Stavron competed against 180 other surfers during the March 2016 competition in San Onofre, California.

“Hidden among the 7,000 students at CSU Channel Islands, you’ll find some amazingly talented surfers,” read the article in College Magazine. “In Camarillo, between Rincon and Malibu, CSU Channel Islands students catch some major waves.”

The coastline along Ventura and Santa Barbara County is unique among surf destinations because of the different types of waves you can get on any given day, Loughlin said.

“We have such a variety of different breaks,” Loughlin said. “We can get a point break at Rincon, a beach break at Pacific Coast Highway in Oxnard, and if I want a reef break, I can paddle out to Emma Wood (State Beach),” she said.

A “break” describes the obstruction or geographic feature where the waves break. A “point,” such as the Rincon surf area, is a geographic outcropping that can create a long wave.

Surf Club member and 2018 Business graduate Eddie Ellis said the great surfing was one of the reasons he chose CSUCI.

“I pretty much scheduled my classes around good times to surf,” he said. “I tried not to schedule class right before dark because that’s when the wind subsides and it’s a great time to get out there.”

The camaraderie among those in the CSUCI Surf Club is also a bonus for members and they’re always welcoming new surfers.

“We have about 26 to 30 members in the club and 16 on the team,” Loughlin said. “We’ve had it grow so much especially among females. Three of our guys are graduating so we’re hoping to get some other students to join.”

CSUCI President Erika D. Beck said the thumbs up from the national surf community is a nice complement to the University’s superb academic programs.

“As a surf enthusiast and beach lover myself, the location of the campus is one more reason it’s such a gem in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area,” Beck said. “Along with getting 21st century job skills, it’s nice to know students can also catch some awesome waves.”

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CSUCI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CSUCI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CSUCI’s Social Media.