UCSB students surf. They either rip, look up to those who do or beg to learn. Fact is, in this part of the central coast – SoCal for those of you who have never made it south of here – there are waves to be found. Depending on whether you’re searching in current or in past annual records, you will find drastically different measurements of surf history. As we all look forward to the coming school year, we can also look toward a year for surf, as storm forecasts are predicting waves may in fact hit the SB coast this year.

Last year, Campus Point didn’t present much more than slosh. Sands was probably even sloshier. Surfers came to the campus expecting waves that had been highly praised, only to find their search for waves far longer than their stay in the water. A car and a local mind allowed some surfers to get out of flat Goleta and find good shape, but the surfing community in I.V. definitely suffered from the lack of quality.

With a new school year at hand, waves are on the rise and Santa Barbara surf will likely redeem itself. With storm activity already building in the Southern Hemisphere, this winter has provided greater swell than the last, giving us Northerners something to look forward to. Hopefully some organized swell will make its way through the Channel Islands and reach our small town, but regardless, surfing minds that know where to be at the right time will make this year much more prosperous.

The close proximity of well-known breaks to a well-regarded university remains unmatched, bringing collegiate surfers to our campus from all over the map – ladies, keep an eye out and watch for the upcoming column “How to Tell a Surfer From a Campus Kook.” With Fall Quarter already crowding the bike path, we can look forward to getting into several crashes, but more so to redirecting tires toward beaches and breaks and avoiding the painful crowd altogether.

Take advantage of the warmest water of the year as summer comes to a close, but get prepared for a glorious winter to come. “Glorious” may be a bit much, but the fact that this year will see a change from the last should inspire all of you to paddle out. Hopefully it won’t inspire too many, or the single two-foot roller I am forecasting will crowd enough to present more crashes than the bike path.

If you surf well and know what’s up, try out for the UCSB club surfing team this Saturday, Oct. 6, at 7 a.m. on the beach in front of Del Playa at the Embarcadero stairs. The UCSB surf team is a collegiate National Scholastic Surfing Association affiliate and UCSB’s most successful club sport, holding 10 national titles. If surf is good this year, watch out for the kids who make the team. They’re probably still surfing where it is decent, so go ahead and paddle out.