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Hanging Paws

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

By Ben Berry

As the first period bell rings, and the majority of us pull out our papers, pens, and pencils, the Point Loma High Surf Team pulls on their wetsuits. Monday through Friday, Coach Estanol takes attendance for our surfing Pointers. A sport in which few high schools partake, the Pointers who participate are happy to call Ocean Beach their athletic field. Many of the members have been surfing for almost their entire lives and a few have just begun. The co-ed team competes at the Division 1 level. The categories consists of Longboard, Shortboard, and Boogie Board. Despite surf conditions, weather, and water temperature, the surfers embrace the ocean every morning.

You might be able to pick out who the members of the surf team are in the halls at school. Often characterized by their sun-bleached and salty hair, still drying by 2nd period, these “groms” do not seem to mind. Tristen Lakey embodies all that is a “grom.” Asked what the term meant to him, he replied, “Being a grom isn’t something that you are, it is a lifestyle. It is all about living a life in the search of

perfect froth.” Referencing popular surf animation film, Surf’s Up, Ethan Hazlitt, freshman surfer, compares Tristen Lakey to Chicken Joe (see right).

The surf team has recently moved to Division 1 and their only home competition took place on November 3rd between Tower 4 and 5 in Ocean Beach. When asking longboard and shortboard surfer, Jessie May, whose house it was as she prepared for her first heat, she exclaimed in classic Pointer fashion, “OUR HOUSE!” Jessie May ended up taking home 5th place in the women's longboard competition. This is her second finalist run as she and shortboarder, Steven Muschett, were finalists at the Encinitas competition.📷

Surf competitions are a great time. I asked Thor Willink, sophomore longboarder, what surf competitions meant to him. He enthusiastically replied, “It’s always fun with an opportunity to show off your charisma.” Some amazing Pointer parents play a huge role at competitions. They bring an EZ up tent, grill, food, snacks, drinks, and their constant support. It is a social event and gathering that expresses the companionship and camaraderie of the team.

Check out Cierra Gray’s awesome photos of the surf team @


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