Surf Culture at PRS (POV Brown)

In “The Story of My Story” series, PRS student journalists share the experiences they have, and the lessons they learn, while creating the stories they publish.

Surf Culture at PRS (POV Brown)

I brainstormed several ideas for a story, such as school sports and global travel. As I enjoy surfing and going to the beach, I finally decided that surfing would be my focus. At many schools, including PRS, surfing is not as popular and renowned as on campus sports like basketball and soccer. My hope was to educate our community about the surf club at PRS and the importance that surfing has in many people’s lives.

After coming up with my surf story idea, I shared the idea with the rest of the Journalism class and my classmate, Reese Walsh, had a similar idea. We pitched our partnership idea to Mr. Ridge, our Journalism teacher,  and he agreed because he was curious about how surf culture in Southern California compares to where he went to high school in Australia. Reese was interested in learning about the history of surfing, while I wanted to dive deeper into the surf community at PRS, so we split up our article into two portions based upon our interests. 

For my part of the article, I interviewed several members of the PRS Surf Club and its adviser, Mr. Kelso. As I already had friends who were on the surf team, reaching out and interviewing them was not much of a challenge. However, it was challenging getting in touch with students in lower grades as we could not coordinate times that worked well for everyone. It was also challenging to interview Mr. Kelso as he is really busy; however, I am very thankful that he was able to find the time because he contributed several meaningful quotes.

At first, Reese and I had the idea to create a short film about the surf team at PRS. Sadly we were not able to follow through with this as we could not find enough time to go to the surf practice or a competition and get sufficient content. Instead, we found photos from a surf trip from last year on the PRS yearbook archive that our classmate Hannah Tison had access to as the Yearbook Club president. Those photos were taken by Owen Beim, a student who graduated from PRS in 2021. Both Reese and I feel very fortunate to have had access to Owen’s photos because they fit the vibe and style of our article perfectly.

Instead of feeling like schoolwork, the writing process for this story felt like a hobby. It was inspiring to hear and feel the love and passion that many community members have for the ocean and the art of surfing. My hope is that this article will educate many about the surfing lifestyle, while also being an inspiration for people to appreciate not only surfing and the ocean, but also the value of personal hobbies.

To read Cassiella Brown’s original story about surf culture at PRS, co-written with Reese Walsh, click here.