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“Try to be present in the water and enjoy it for what it is.”

Emily Collins(25) surfs Blacks
Emily Collins(25) surfs Blacks

Local?

No. I am originally from outside of Chicago

How long have you been surfing?

I started about 5 years ago when I came out here as a UCSD undergrad student.

How often do you surf?

Usually every day.

Do you remember your first surfing experience?

Yeah, I rented a 10-foot foam board from Surf Diva. I had the worst time of my life. It was so hard! I did not stand up once. I was so pissed-off because it was always my dream to surf.

Did you keep at it?

I am stubborn, so yes, I did. The first few times I went out was during [UCSD] orientation I was terrible! When school started, I came out a week early and bought a board. For the first year, I was going surfing every day, twice a day. It was pretty crazy. I got very addicted to it.

Did you eventually get better?

It took awhile for me to get good. I was under the impression that once I learned how to pop up well, that everything else would come easily. But each skill is a whole new thing to learn. My goal was to make the UCSD Surf Team. I ended up doing that.

How long did it take for you to make that team?

I graduated in three years. By my second year I forced myself onto it. I just went to practice all the time, but I didn’t compete. By my third year, I finally got a chance to compete a couple of times which was really cool.

Was it difficult coming from the Midwest and joining The UCSD Surf Team?

It was! Obviously, everyone else had been surfing since they were like 2. It pushed me to get better really quickly. I am doing a master’s program at UCSD now, so I am on the team again as an alternate. There are so many good female surfers right now. I think they are better than the guys on the team. One of the girls, Makena Burke, has been winning all the contests this year.

Do you experience sexism in the water ever?

Oh, for sure! FOR SURE! I usually surf at Blacks. There are not that many female surfers there. I’m friends with a lot of the guys out there, but when I don’t know anyone, people drop in on me. I think it’s because I am a woman, and they just don’t think I can surf.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

Some of the best times I have ever had, is surfing Blacks right in front of the road. No one ever surfs there because it’s usually not good. But occasionally, it’s really good! When the water is warm, and it’s sparkling gold, and the waves are good, but not so big that you think you are going to die, those are the best days ever! No one is there and it is just fun. Those are the days where I can just stay out all day and forget I am even supposed to be doing anything else.

Have you had any cool wildlife experiences while surfing?

When the seals and dolphins surf with you, that is the coolest. We call them the locals in the line-up.

What advice do you have for new surfers?

Try to be present in the water and enjoy it for what it is. Many people get competitive. In the past, I would get so competitive out there, that I would come home afterwards and be angry. You can be the best surfer in the world and have a good session or a bad session. It’s just learning to be present in the moment. Enjoy the ocean and be nice to other people in the water.

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Emily Collins(25) surfs Blacks
Emily Collins(25) surfs Blacks

Local?

No. I am originally from outside of Chicago

How long have you been surfing?

I started about 5 years ago when I came out here as a UCSD undergrad student.

How often do you surf?

Usually every day.

Do you remember your first surfing experience?

Yeah, I rented a 10-foot foam board from Surf Diva. I had the worst time of my life. It was so hard! I did not stand up once. I was so pissed-off because it was always my dream to surf.

Did you keep at it?

I am stubborn, so yes, I did. The first few times I went out was during [UCSD] orientation I was terrible! When school started, I came out a week early and bought a board. For the first year, I was going surfing every day, twice a day. It was pretty crazy. I got very addicted to it.

Did you eventually get better?

It took awhile for me to get good. I was under the impression that once I learned how to pop up well, that everything else would come easily. But each skill is a whole new thing to learn. My goal was to make the UCSD Surf Team. I ended up doing that.

How long did it take for you to make that team?

I graduated in three years. By my second year I forced myself onto it. I just went to practice all the time, but I didn’t compete. By my third year, I finally got a chance to compete a couple of times which was really cool.

Was it difficult coming from the Midwest and joining The UCSD Surf Team?

It was! Obviously, everyone else had been surfing since they were like 2. It pushed me to get better really quickly. I am doing a master’s program at UCSD now, so I am on the team again as an alternate. There are so many good female surfers right now. I think they are better than the guys on the team. One of the girls, Makena Burke, has been winning all the contests this year.

Do you experience sexism in the water ever?

Oh, for sure! FOR SURE! I usually surf at Blacks. There are not that many female surfers there. I’m friends with a lot of the guys out there, but when I don’t know anyone, people drop in on me. I think it’s because I am a woman, and they just don’t think I can surf.

Do you have a favorite surf moment?

Some of the best times I have ever had, is surfing Blacks right in front of the road. No one ever surfs there because it’s usually not good. But occasionally, it’s really good! When the water is warm, and it’s sparkling gold, and the waves are good, but not so big that you think you are going to die, those are the best days ever! No one is there and it is just fun. Those are the days where I can just stay out all day and forget I am even supposed to be doing anything else.

Have you had any cool wildlife experiences while surfing?

When the seals and dolphins surf with you, that is the coolest. We call them the locals in the line-up.

What advice do you have for new surfers?

Try to be present in the water and enjoy it for what it is. Many people get competitive. In the past, I would get so competitive out there, that I would come home afterwards and be angry. You can be the best surfer in the world and have a good session or a bad session. It’s just learning to be present in the moment. Enjoy the ocean and be nice to other people in the water.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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