Dana Point Surf Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley share the stoke at Doheny to celebrate California Surfing Day
Celebrating California Surfing Day on Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Dana Point Surf Club and Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley joined forces for an afternoon of fun under the sun at Doheny State Beach.
Sharing the stoke of riding waves with a group of 10- to 16-year-old students who haven’t had much surf time to date, surf club members, including professional surf instructors and certified lifeguards, provided a hugely positive first-time experience for the boys and girls.
Among the first clubs to join the West Coast Board Riders coalition of surf clubs up and down the California coast, the Dana Point Surf Club embodies the true spirit of community that’s a founding principle of the emerging surf club movement.
“We’ve always tried to emphasize community over competition,” explained Dana Point Surf Club President Eric Diamond. “A lot of us have had the good fortune to grow up at the beach and spend our lives surfing, but not everybody in our community has had that opportunity. We want to share it and be inclusive. We want the club to be a force for good that puts service to our community before everything else.”
In 2022, the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club’s “Above and Beyond Gala” recognized the work of the club by honoring Diamond and James Littlejohn, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, for their community service.
More than 30 volunteers on Wednesday greeted the kids of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley after being picked up after school by the Dana Point Trolley and taken to Doheny Beach so they could get ready for an afternoon in the water.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate California Surfing Day than with this volunteer program. It brings everyone together on the beach to honor our surf legacy here in Dana Point. Plus, by sharing their expertise, our Surf Club members will help to encourage the next generation to experience the thrill of surfing,” said Dana Point Mayor Mike Frost, who was also set to be in attendance on Wednesday afternoon.
“Seeing the beach, feeling the sand between your toes, and catching a good wave is not a luxury that many can afford. That is why the relationship between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley and these community partners is so important. For many of our youth, it will be the first time they will surf, let alone be at a beach,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley Area Director Gabriella Littlejohn.
Littlejohn added that these events become core memories for the clubs’ youth.
“The confidence they exude standing up for the first time is almost as rewarding as seeing their smiles,” she said. “It truly takes a village, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley is fortunate for the village that has continued to support our youth in the community and find ways for them to become who they want to be.”
The Dana Point Surf Club worked closely with the City of Dana Point, Killer Dana Surf Shop, Dana Point Harbor Partners and the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary to turn the vision into a reality.
Big ups to everyone who made it happen. Surfing’s a gift, and to share that gift is what it’s all about. The West Coast Board Riders 2023-24 season kicks off this November. Stay tuned for more from the Dana Point Surf Club real soon.