The World’s Ten Best Colleges for Surfers


Your university days should be some of the best times of your life, a chance to study and gain a qualification but also to enjoy yourself. But if you’re a surfer, college is also the perfect opportunity to practice. Given that dawn patrols probably won’t happen too often, depending on the amount of partying going on, you can use your flexible hours to sneak in a session or two per day when there’s swell. This is all predicated, of course, on the college you attend and the quality of the nearby surf spots. So if you want to perfect your barrel riding skills and still (hopefully) get an education, take your pick from our choice of the world’s best surf-friendly schools!

1. University of California Santa Cruz [California, USA]
Nearby surf spots: Steamer Lane, The Hook

The University of California Santa Cruz is recognized for its expertise in research and progressive approach to teaching. There is a range of interdisciplinary studies including the unique History of Consciousness graduate program, and UCSC is noted for its research contributions to space science and other important fields.

UCSC’s campus is situated in forest-covered hills 75 miles south of San Francisco, close to California’s West Coast with views of the Monterey Bay and the Pacific. The close proximity to the sea makes the university one of the greatest places to combine studying with surfing. Just a short drive from the campus and you can find a choice of consistent breaks including Capitola Beach, The Hook, Manresa State Beach, and the most famous of all, Steamer Lane.

3 years ago

NYU, come on? UCSB, UCSD, UCI, UCLA, are not on the list. list is BS.
you can argue LA surfing sucks, Irvine is in the heart of OC, SD is on top of blacks, and UCSB, well never gets swell in there, but rincon, el cap, sandspit. nuff said.

3 years ago

Agree with you for sure... but I do like UCSC as #1. That was a good time in my life as a surfer! We're pretty lucky to still live fairly close to Santa Cruz as much as we diss the locals there. Some super fun long great waves and definitely looking forward to the big swells coming up this year!

3 years ago

Ha, someone contacted me about running this article on my surfblog. The surfblog I created so my Grandmother in Michigan could share the stoke (she thought me learning to surf was a hoot.)

I was curious why someone would be asking to be posted on my site (which is read by no one) but not curious enough to click the link.

King of Kooks
3 years ago

The best colleges for surfers are those that offer a strong education so you can maintain work and surfing flexibility down the road, post graduation. No point in shredding daily from age 18 to 22 if you're then riding a cube from 830 to 530 for the next 30 years

"dammit why did I major in recreational sciences!?!

Wave Glider
3 years ago

@tracey, so what's your "surfblog" site? I'm sure some of us would be interested, like me. I found a site with Old Pix of Bolinas that are very interesting.

3 years ago

@King of Kooks...if you were a recreational sciences grad, I can only guess you went to SDSU. In that case, the secret is never graduating.

3 years ago

One of the San Diego schools should be represented I think. UC makes sense but since I went to know.

3 years ago

UCSB and UCI are weak schools for sure. but so is UCSC. UCSD is solid. and has waves within walking distance. not sure what crazy criteria they used but NYU isnt close to the beach. might as well take it out and slide in Berkeley, just as close to the beach and OB blows door on anything you can score in NY or NJ. list is silly. author needs to pull his head out of his ass, or explain the criteria, cause some random univ in Bali aint getting you a gig at google come graduation.

3 years ago

This is my last semester at Brigham Young University Hawaii. Its on the island of Oahu, on the eastside in Laie. North shore is a ten minute ride down Kam, and the eastside fires too. Lol, if you can handle the mormon thing (I cant), im pretty sure it owns all the schools on the "top 10".

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