Name: Erik Meza

Lives: La Jolla

Surfs: Black's

Erik Meza moved to San Diego two years ago to attend UCSD. He began surfing soon after and now rides his 7'8" Ebert board all over the county. "It may be clichéd, but when I moved to San Diego, I figured everyone out here should definitely learn to surf. Plus, it's something I've always wanted to do."

When Meza first ventured into the water, he started at La Jolla Shores.

"I was that guy who couldn't even sit on the board," he says. After he became comfortable on his surfboard, he traveled to Manhattan Beach in L.A. Unbeknownst to Meza, there had been a storm in Baja that created huge swells. He caught a closeout and was taken down and tossed around.

"It was like I had been thrown in a washing machine," he says. After a few minutes of being pummeled, Meza made it out without any injuries. He says the experience reminded him of the "full power of the waves." Although at the time it felt "disheartening," Meza persevered; two seasons later, he had gained enough skill to graduate to Black's Beach.

Meza enjoys Black's because the long hike down to the beach attracts a determined crowd only. He likes the breaks' predictable nature as well, which allows him the opportunity to catch many rides each session. The beach's proximity to UCSD is convenient, too, enabling Meza to surf before or after classes.

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