Sophomore Enzo Sapojnikoff woke up at 6 a.m. and quickly grabbed his surfboard, excited for a day at the beach. He did not not catch a single wave, yet he still came out of the water with a smile.
Every year, Sapojnikoff goes down to Baja, Mexico with his family, a place with some of the best waves, which inspired him to start surfing.
“I caught my first wave and it’s like a bug. You get bit by the bug and you want to do it again and again,” Sapojnikoff said.
Soon after he started surfing, it became one of his passions.
A friend of Sapojnikoff, sophomore Gregory Steiner began surfing after his family purchased a home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although Steiner has only been surfing for about a year, it has given him a sense of identity, as surfing is such a unique sport.
Sapojnikoff and Steiner describe the feeling of catching a wave as a rush.
“It’s such a rush when you first stand up and start going down the line. Just traveling down the wave is a feeling like no other,” Sapojnikoff said.
For Steiner, surfing allows him to live in the moment.
“When you can get up and get a nice wave… everything feels right. All your problems or other things that give you stress– they kind of melt away and you’re just in the moment,” Steiner said.
Similar to Steiner, Sapojnikoff says that surfing helps him relieve stress by allowing his mind to relax and heal.
“The feeling of the water and just being out there, even if you’re not doing anything, it really soothes me,” Sapojnikoff said.
The biggest difference from surfing and other more common sports is the individuality, according to Sapojnikoff, show also says that surfing is not impacted by anything other than yourself.
Because of surfing is so unique, the struggles that come with surfing are different. Sapojnikoff says that people can become hostile while surfing because of localism. According to Sapojnikoff, localism occurs when the local surfers feel entitled to certain waves because they visit the beaches most often. If one person
Steiner says that some other obstacles in the sport of surfing include finding the time to surf, making sure you have all the right and proper equipment, and determining whether the waves are good.
Looking towards the future, Sapojnikoff says he may want to start a surf club at MVHS to spread the positive experiences he has had with the sport.
“It’s something that will put a smile on your face. If you’re having a bad day, it’ll hopefully make it a little bit better, ” Sapojnikoff said.