Surf at Coronado
Guest blog written by Erike Rogness of Outdoor Outreach
Back to Coronado for our surf trips and I will admit with total bias, this is one of my favorite locations for surfing on our trips due to limited amounts of stingrays, the military presence and the beautiful gold flakes that glitter on the shores in the sun. The waves are decent and there seems to be a safe and relaxed feeling in the Coronado environment.
For the most part, this group of MCCS youth were new teens that had not yet been on trips with us, but I did spot one teen that had been on our very first trip at Del Mar Beach. I had been disappointed that she had not gotten to spend more than ten minutes in the water during that trip. The saltwater in her eyes mixed with the strong current seemed to be a bit overwhelming for her first surf experience and she opted to see and learn about marine life up at the tide pools with our instructors instead. Her general personality is fairly easy going and she could be happy with only a sand bucket on the beach and some water.
As soon as she got off the bus, I could hear her voice telling everyone eagerly about her ideas of surfing and beach time. We set her up with our instructor, Greg Drost, who has years of experience working with youth and youth counseling combined with his silly jokester nature, this was a perfect fit. Whether it was the enthralling conversations with Greg, the nice waves, or simply the excitement and insistence of getting up on a board, the salt water did not seem to be a consideration that day.
By the time I was able to break away from pushing teens into waves and talk to her about surfing, she informed me that she was able to stand up and ride out on waves at least four times already. The only thing she sounded more enthused about other than the fact that she spent all day surfing was her need to inform her older sister immediately of her newly acquired skills. Coming from a family with two older competitive brothers, I could only grin, relating to the need to always match them. What better confidence builder than surfing and literally riding out on some gnar?
We headed in to eat lunch and played some beach games, which mostly consisted of burying all the teens in deep sand traps, and then watching them squirm to get out. This particular teen was having so much fun asking me to bury her with the shovel and building sand castles, I assumed she was done surfing for the day. Understandably so, surfing is a full body workout and with the ocean a contact sport for sure. After a full day of surfing, you pretty much want to eat a thanksgiving dinner and then take a Rip Van Winkle like nap. I left an MCCS partner staff with her on the beach and headed out with the camera to take pictures of the teens. When I turned around, I saw this teen walking toward me with one of our longer surf boards. “Where are you going?” I asked her. “I’m going surfing, duh!” Duh indeed.