A Leadership High student named Ashley sees the ocean as an escape, and was grateful for CSP and all the volunteers. “As a person of color, there aren’t many resources or ways for me to enjoy activities like this,” she said. “But the City Surf program helps get kids like me interested in and exposed to the ocean.
For Gooch, his favorite part of the day was being able to watch the kids’ stoke spread. “I saw a lot of young people feeling empowered today,” Gooch said. “It turns out that one of the kids I worked with had been having a difficult time getting in the ocean, let alone the pool.
City Surf Project finds high school students in urban areas who live near the beach, but who have still had no connection to surfing or its culture.
He thinks that local kids could learn a thing or two by watching the students and their enthusiasm. “I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t live by the beach, but they sure seem to appreciate the ocean more than a lot of the local kids do,” Tashnick said.
Irwin saw their confidence rise as they learned how to paddle out and pop up on a board, and he decided that connecting these kids with the sea was an important endeavor. “I wanted to show these city kids how different our lifestyle can be and to understand the value and quality of the surfing experience”.
Such is the rationale behind City Surf Project, a non-profit that introduces San Francisco’s at-risk youth to surfing—not just the sport, but also to the health benefits and the social restoration that accompany being a part of the tribe.
Read more here: Surfer Mag