How the Dana Point Surf Club is looking to serve the community in 2020

By Jake Howard

“We’ll have water—make it sparkling,” says Eric Diamond as we sit down at a patio table at Bonjour Café & Bistro in Dana Point.

It’s a sunny afternoon, and we’re getting together to talk about what the next 12 months hold in store for the Dana Point Surf Club. Our glasses of water arrive, and we take a minute to enjoy the quiet weekday atmosphere.

Eric, an artist and designer by trade, and I̗ laugh that we could be sitting in a Parisian café, except the atmosphere here is better.

A two-story building, the space directly above Bonjour’s kitchen is where Bruce Brown pieced together the seminal surf movie The Endless Summer. The building should be a historical landmark, or there should at least be a plaque put up.

It’s the kind of thing people don’t know but would get a kick out of learning. I could make the argument that there’s no building more important in Dana Point, but that’s a story for another time.

Down the street is the home the Brown family lived in during those golden days. Today, it is desperately clinging to the edge of the cliff.

“We have a lot going on this year,” Diamond explains, steering the conversation back on point. “The biggest thing is that we are now a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We’re going to be putting a lot more focus on service and giving back to our community; that’s what we’re going to be all about.”

Diamond’s already been guiding the club in that direction over the past couple of years, adding a surf day partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley and an annual fishing day to their calendar of events.

This year, they’re planning on more of the same, including a float in the Festival of Whales Parade in March, more scholarship opportunities for aspiring young surfers and a luau later in the summer. And starting Feb. 1, the Dana Point Surf Club will be kicking off its annual membership drive.

“This is full community involvement at the roots level. We have such a special beach culture here, we want to share that with everyone and have everyone involved in what’s happening around here,” Diamond explains.

With the West Coast Board Riders competition season in full swing, the Dana Point Surf Club will also compete against some of California’s most famous beach towns for bragging rights and to be named the best in the West.

Dana Point will compete in an event on Feb. 22 in Huntington Beach. Then, on April 4, the club will be hosting an event at Salt Creek.

“We’ve got a great team, and the competition is another aspect of it all,” Diamond says. “It’s a lot of fun to get all the surf towns together and enjoy that friendly rivalry. But now that we’re a nonprofit organization, that’s not the only focus we have. We want to be leaders in our community.”

To learn more about how you can get involved, go to danapointsurfclub.com.

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