From beach cleanups to cheering for your favorite local surfers, there’s plenty going on this Saturday
By Jake Howard
Saturday, June 17, is International Surfing Day, an opportunity for wave-riders and beach-lovers of every stripe to celebrate all that is glorious about the ocean.
First launched in 2005 as a collaboration between Surfing magazine and Surfrider Foundation, International Surfing Day has been going strong for the past 20 years, and the day has blossomed into stoke-filled holiday around the world.
A quick look at the waves this weekend, Surfline is forecasting the surf to be in the 3- to 5-foot range thanks to a lingering southwest swell and touch of northwest swell. Conditions are expected to be relatively clean in the morning before a sea breeze in the afternoon adds some texture to the water.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the water temperature has remained stubbornly cold, hanging in the low 60s—meaning you’re probably going to want a wetsuit when you paddle out.
With all the gloomy, gray weather and chilly ocean temps, I’m guessing I’m not the only one out there wondering when summer’s actually going to start.
Given International Surfing Day started with an environmental focus, Surfrider Foundation is hosting beach cleanups around the country this Saturday. Its South Orange County Chapter has a cleanup scheduled for Dana Point.
You can head over to surfrider.org for more information and to sign up. Of course, you can always organize your own beach cleanup with friends if there’s nothing happening in your area. You’d be amazed what a difference a dedicated crew can make in a few hours.
If you do get out there and make our beaches a better, happier place to surf, share it on Instagram and use the hashtag #InternationalSurfingDay.
In the coming days, there are also a few surf events to keep an eye on. On the global stage, San Clemente’s Griffin Colapinto is eyeing his second WSL Championship Tour victory in as many contests.
Into the semifinals of the Surf City El Salvador Pro, the contest is currently on hold as it waits for a new swell, which could fill in as soon as Friday, June 16.
When competition resumes, Colapinto, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will face off against Aussie Liam O’Brien. Meanwhile, on the other side of the draw sits San Clemente resident Filipe Toledo. He’ll face Maui’s Ian Gentil.
Should both Colapinto and Toledo advance and meet in the final, it would set up an entertaining grudge match, as Colapinto just took out Toledo at last month’s Surf Ranch Pro.
More locally focused, the U.S.A. Surfing Championships will take place in Oceanside this week.
A pathway to both the International Surfing Association World Championship and Pan Am Games, the event will feature a multitude of divisions, including para surf, longboard, adult shortboard, stand-up surf and SUP paddle distance racers.
To celebrate International Surfing Day, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside’s Pier Amphitheater, there will be a special screening of Big Wave Guardians: First Responders of the Sea, a film about Hawaii’s lifeguards written by San Clemente’s own Jim Kempton.
There will also be a screening of WSL rookie sensation Caity Simmers’ latest short film, which also features the surfing of San Clemente’s Ian Crane. Both films are most definitely worth your time should you find yourself in Oceanside this Saturday.
And while it may not feel quite like summer yet, International Surfing Day is almost here, and it’s time to head to the beach. Hopefully, the cloudy skies burn off and we get a nice sunny day. Either way, get out there with family and friends and enjoy the waves and magic of surfing.
Jake Howard is a local surfer and freelance writer who lives in San Clemente. A former editor at Surfer magazine, The Surfer’s Journal and ESPN, today he writes for several publications, including Picket Fence Media, Surfline and the World Surf League. He also works with philanthropic organizations such as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation.