‘Mahalo’ from the CofC Surf Club

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A few members of the Surf Club getting ready to paddle out to some awesome swells. Members range from beginners to pros and get plenty of gnarly club perks. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)
A few members of the Surf Club get ready to paddle out to some awesome swells. Members range from beginners to pros and get plenty of gnarly club perks. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)

Kowabunga! It’s time to get stoked, CofC students, because the Surf Club is looking for some gnarly people to hit the waves of Folly Beach. Whether you are a “kook” (beginner), or a professional surf champion, the Surf Club has a board waiting for you.

Surf Club president Will Wittich, a senior at the College, spends his time away from the daily grind of classes, tests and the slew of stresses that come with college life by ripping the swells of “The Washout,” a surf destination on Folly Beach. “Our school’s location, 20 minutes away from Folly Beach, is perfect to go and try surfing anytime,” Wittich said. “The club is for all levels of surfers, from never seen a surfboard to barrel-riding pros, this club is yours. We’re simply a group of surfers from all levels looking to promote the sport and have a fun time.” The friendliness and openness of the group makes it easy to learn how to surf with a great group of Dudes and Bettys who are looking for a good time and good friends.

Will Wittich shreds a sick wave on Folly Beach. Wittich is president of the Surf Club and leads club meetings, events and competitions while also ensuring the club remains a close knit group of passionate surfers. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)
Will Wittich shreds a wave on Folly Beach. Wittich, president of the Surf Club, leads club meetings, events and competitions while also ensuring that the club remains a close-knit group of passionate surfers. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)

Wittich said the club has a “sense of friendship with a diverse group of students sharing a common passion for surfing. Many students come to College of Charleston for the weather and location near the beach, so why not try surfing?” Don’t have means of transportation for getting to and from the beach? Wittich said there are always people posting on the club’s Facebook page saying when they are going surfing, so it’s easy to make new friends and get a ride to the beach. Members of the club also receive certain “perks” such as free surfboard rentals from McKelvins Surf Shop, discounts at Las Olas Surf Shop, club t-shirts and free admission to all club events.

Wittich and the rest of the gang have already started having club meetings and planning events for this semester. “Events will include a learn-to-surf day for beginners at Folly Beach Pier on April 4th (tentative date), a standup paddle board day and surf movies at the Cistern,” Wittich said. “We are also included at a surf movie premiere February 24th at The Alley with RedBull and Las Olas Surf Shop.” Great things are to come this year for the Surf Club but the gnarliest part of the club is probably their competitions. Upcoming competitions will be held in early March in Wilmington Beach, NC with UNC Wilmington, ECU, Costal Carolina and Cape Fear Community College and/or mid to late March in New Smryna Beach, FL at Easterns–a competition with schools from all over the East Coast. Easterns is the qualifying competition for the national competition in Salt Creek, Calif., to be held in April. Wittich said, “The competitions are a lot of fun for competitors and spectators. The team consists of both males and females – longboarders and shortboarders. Competitions are just weekend trips to a surf town to relax on the beach and do a bit of surfing. Competitions are extremely competitive for surfers in the water, but at the end of the day, the teams bond together through a mutual passion.”

Wittich carves up another wave at the Washout. Surf Club members can get involved in competitions, or just learn to surf right here in Charleston. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)
Wittich carves up another wave at the Washout. Surf Club members can get involved in competitions, or just learn to surf right here in Charleston. (Photo courtesy of Will Wittich via Facebook)

Not only does the Surf Club “hang-ten” together and carve up some waves, they also immerse themselves in the surf culture through the use of surf lingo. “We use surf lingo,” Wittich said, “but mostly jokingly – mahalo, firing (great conditions), shred, tubes, pitted, turtlegrom (young surfer), kowabunga, spongers (boggieboarders), a-frames, heavily salivating, and froth monkey (excited surfer) are a few of the basics.” Clearly, a love for the sport (and the culture that accompanies it) is what drives surfers to be avid members of the group. “The best part of surfing is working hard through the waves and finally catching a long and smooth ride,” Wittich said. “The worst part about surfing is sitting in class when you know there are great surfing conditions at Folly Beach.” So if you ever need to relieve some stress, want to make some new “brahs” (friends) or just want to try something new, exciting and adventurous, check out all that the Surf Club has to offer. Hang loose!

For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1550844921801203/.

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