While most high school students are fast asleep at six o’clock in the morning, the members of the Orange Lutheran Surf Team are wide awake and on their way to the beach. By 6:30 am, sixty surfers meet at Bolsa Chica Tower 18 to start their school day. The waves at Bolsa Chica State Beach can range from a small one-two foot day to a five-seven foot day. Despite these fluctuating conditions, Orange Lutheran’s surfers charge the waves every red day. Coaches Laulhere, D’Amico, and Schlueter greet each student as they suit up and head to the water.
From seniors to freshmen, shortboarders to loggers, and boys to girls, these students find a unique community within the water. While some of their peers bond on the soccer field or the basketball court, these surfers’ relationships are formed through their love for the ocean. The unpredictability of surfing creates a peaceful tranquil for most surfers, and as these students sit on the outside of the breaks, they get to experience a community that is only found in the water. The laid back culture of the surf team has drawn students of all ages and interests to join the team.
As the program has grown progressively in its six years of existence, there are dozens of new additions to the team every year. Newcomers are greeted by a peaceful way to start their school day and the Seaview Surf League at the end of September.
Orange Lutheran’s season kicked off with a nailbiter showdown against Corona Del Mar High School on September 30th; each heat resulted in a different school winning. Corona Del Mar took the win by only one point, but that did not discourage OLu’s spirits. As the next competition was against OLu’s Trinity League rivals, Mater Dei Orange Lutheran paddled out with confidence and took home the win with the final score of 101-63. This confidence was not faulted by Millikan’s well-known longboard team as Orange Lutheran dominated the waves, taking home another major win. The stakes continue to be high as Orange Lutheran’s surf team takes on Los Alamitos, the former league champs, as the season continues.
Although surfing is an uncommon high school sport, Orange Lutheran’s athletics program has welcomed it with open arms. Each surfer gets gear along with excellent coaching and support from the school. It may seem inconvenient to be at a beach at 6:30 am on a school morning, but parents and students of Orange Lutheran are welcome to support the surf team as they compete for the league title. So if you have a free morning sometime this semester, come down to Bolsa Chica Tower 18 to support the Orange Lutheran surfers!
Photo Credit: Leah Zawadzki