Intro to Surfing Class at Texas A&M University-Commerce

Intro to Surfing

Texas A&M University-Commerce is taking students out of their comfort zone with an Intro to Surfing class.

The class is exposing much of the campus population to something new.

“We decided to host the class for two reasons,” said Kellen Dion, the coordinator of Outdoor Adventure at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “One, the student population has little to no experience with the ocean and surfing. We thought they might find this educational class exciting and enjoyable. Two, we were hosting a surf trip to San Diego and this was a prerequisite for attending that trip.”

Students learn to surf

The “Intro to Surfing” Class Details

Offering the two-hour class on March 31 and April 22, 2021, participants are taught:

  • The knowledge and skills to feel comfortable renting a surfboard.
  • How to stay safe in the ocean.
  • Surfing terminology.
  • Different types of surfing gear.
  • How to shred waves.

“The premise of the class is to give the participants the knowledge and confidence that if they were to go on a beach vacation they could rent a surfboard and go surfing safely,” said Dion. “The class covers everything such as equipment type, proper clothing/wetsuits, sea animals, ocean dangers, surfing culture and respect, and proper surfing and paddling technique.”

EXTRA CREDIT: Creative aquatics programming ideas.

Dion said the only equipment used to host the class is two foam-top surfboards and a pool. As for the instructor, some experience helps. “I am born and raised in San Diego, California. I spent my entire life in the ocean and surfing, so I just draw on my experiences and knowledge to teach the class,” said Dion.

Intro to Surfing class

Why It Matters

The ultimate goal of the Intro to Surfing class is to get students outside of what they know and experiencing new things.

“We want our student population to be introduced to things that do not exist in their surrounding culture, allowing them to become more knowledgeable and worldly,” said Dion.

Images courtesy of Texas A&M University-Commerce

Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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