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Surf club provides communal outlet for both amateurs, hardcore surfers

Photo by Manny Mata-Flores ’19 | Members of the surf club meet in Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’08’s room to discuss and watch professional surf runs. The surf club offers a unique perspective to a sport that is found outside of the Arizona desert.

By Hayden Welty ’19

While surfing may a be a sport that’s popularity has been traditionally confined to places with access to the ocean like California, the Surf Club seeks to bring surfing to people who live in the dry, desolate deserts in Arizona.

It meets every Tuesday at lunch in Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’07’s room to watch competitions and surf movies, compete in fantasy surf leagues and just talk about surfing.

The club was formed during the Boundary Waters canoe trip last summer when on one day of the trip Mr. Pidgeon and Farmer were canoeing together for a couple of hours and began to talk about surfing.

Mr. Pidgeon said that he started talking about how he used to surf five times a week when he was a student in California and that Farmer also talked about his experience with the sport.  

When Farmer asked if there was any sort of surf outlet at Brophy, Mr. Pidgeon said no and suggested to Farmer that he should go back to Brophy and found one in the fall.

Will Ingram ’19, Sean McLaine ’19 and Farmer then came back to school and helped start the club.

Mr. Pidgeon said that most participants don’t know much about surfing when they join, including McLaine, who was one of the people who helped start the club.

“You don’t have to know anything about surfing or surf to join,” McLaine said. “It’s just fun to hang out with everyone, and you learn a lot.”

“Most don’t [surf],” Mr. Pidgeon said. “Most have a curiosity abouts and an appreciation for the sport of surfing, but Max was probably the only one who surfs.”

Mr. Pidgeon said that the club also hosts a fantasy surf league.

“There’s a fantasy surf league just like any other major sports fantasy sports league…,” he said. “We had everyone make an account and sign up for that.”

Mr. Pidgeon said that the fantasy league is run by the World Surf League. Each player picks three separate surfers in different tiers, and the participants get points based off the winners of each heat.

McLaine said he thinks that somewhere around 15 people in the club participate in the fantasy league.

Mr. Pidgeon said that the club’s purpose is to offer a space for like-minded individuals interested in surfing to come together.

“I think that’s typical with any club on Brophy’s campus as it offers a space where you as an individual who has an interest in a field or in anything can come to this space and meet other people who are also interested in that,” he said.

Farmer also said that the club is an outlet for people who enjoy surfing to come together.

In terms of service, Mr. Pidgeon said they’re is looking into possibly getting involved with the Surfrider Foundation, which is an environmentally conscious organization that attempts to preserve shorelines, and Surfers Healing, which is a foundation that provides surfing opportunities for children with autism.

“For [our] club charity activity, we’re either going to donate to [the] Surfrider Foundation or other programs that support marine biology so that we can help clean up and protect our oceans,” Farmer said.

He also said that the club experimented with the idea of going on a surf trip to California over spring break this year, but that the plans fell apart.

Farmer said that he encourages anyone — regardless of experience or knowledge — to join.

“If you’ve never surfed before and it looks cool just go ahead and do it,” he said. “And even if you don’t know anything about surfing, it’s still a fun club.”