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Nothing makes those afternoon classes better than knowing after the last lecture, surf’s up. 

Those never-ending hours of classwork and assignments feel more bearable when you know when class lets up, you can hit the swell. Bring a couple of your classmates along to makes hitting that a-frame all the more glorious.

Body Surfing is a great way to blow off some steam and keep in shape. But most surfers have to give up their sport when they go to college for the simple reason their colleges are either not close to the beach or the classwork is so grueling, they have no time to hit the beach.

If you want to enjoy whitecaps all year round and not when the semester ends, here’s a list of the best colleges for surfing.

San Francisco State University

Don’t forget to pack your wetsuit if you’re going to the Bay Area. There are tons of uncrowded surfing spots in San Francisco, all easily accessible from San Francisco State University. The NorCal coast, Santa Cruz, and Marin County are all perfect for bodysurfing and handboarding on a lazy afternoon or in the evening after class. Make sure you check the awesome barrels on Ocean Beach. You’ll have to bring your A-game because if you don’t, chicks will be falling down with laughter every time you wipe out.

Salve Regine University

Rhode Island might be the smallest county in the country, but it has some terrific waves. They are not all that consistent, but when it hits, you better hang on to your board. Hurricane season brings some of the biggest swells to Ruggels, the point break of Newport. Even pro surfers from all over the world come here to catch the barrels. The best thing about all this, Salve Regina University is a stone throw away. It comes as no surprise then that a few great surfers graduated from the University. 

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Interested in the surf science? Yeah. That’s a real thing, and if you want to learn more, enroll at the University of North Carolina. Physics classes here are all about surfing, ocean dynamics, and you also get to learn a little bit more about the history of the sport. There’s no better way to understand fluid dynamics or centrifugal forces than seeing it applied to bodysurfing. After class, grab your board and go and practice all you learned on Wrightsville Beach. You might even get a tan while you’re at it! The water tends to get cold, but who cares when you have your wetsuit and handboard? You can have the time of your life if you ask for help. Find a website that will do it for you- reduce your workload, meaning you have all the time to hit the major waves in Carolina.

California State University Channels Island

Some of the biggest names in surfing went to California State University. And why wouldn’t they? Smack in the middle of Rincon and Malibu are some of the tallest waves you’ll ever see. The Channel Islands might be a little bit low-key in other things, but the surf scene is to die for. The surf college is surrounded by a terrific community of surfers meaning whether you’re looking for that unique wax for your longboard or a new surfboard, you’ll never have to leave the campus. When you’re not hitting the wave, they have some great courses too, including the Zen of Surfing where professors help you understand the different forces you’ll find in the ocean.

California Polytechnic State University

California is surf haven, and California Polytechnic State University is where you want to be if you want to be part of a professional surfing outfit. They have one of the leading surf teams this side of the hemisphere, and you’re only a few short steps away from Central Coast, which is a lot better than the packed beaches of Southern California. You don’t have to worry about the freezing, while hitting great breaks here. The weather is a lot nicer compared to California’s northern beaches.

University of California Santa Cruz

The cooler waters of Santa Cruz make for some great waves. You’ll be hitting awesome bottom turns every day you hit the beach when you enroll with UCSC, you’ll be competing in UCSC’s Surf Club competitions against some of the greatest names in the sport. The fact that the university is rated as a top-tier research institution doesn’t hurt.

University of California Santa Barbara

OK. By now you already thinking California has to be the home of the best colleges for surfing. You’re not wrong because California beaches have the gnarliest waves, UCSB is so close to the water that if it were any closer, students would have to grab a boat every time they changed classes. The sun here comes out every day so you’ll never miss a wave because of bad weather. You even get a nice view of the surf from the library to get that adrenaline flowing before you hit the beach. If you can hold your own on the board, sign up with the UCSB’s surf team and compete in professional events.


So, there you have it. These are some of the best colleges for surfers. You not only get to surf every day of the week, but these schools offer academic courses in surfing as well as other great courses to further your ambition. If you get accepted to any of these schools, remember to join the surf team and join a community of elite surfers from all over the country. But don’t be a beach bum. You need to put in the hours in your school work if you’re to graduate.

Author Bio

Sandra Larson is a writer at  and a former copywriter who loves surfing. While she’s not surfing, Larson likes to dabble with a bit of programming. She hopes to make the next big surfing video game.

Explore more ➡️ HERE

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