Surfing the Oregon Coast

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"We're Gonna Shred It!"

A Happy Surfing Song

--adapted from Damien Marley's "We're Gonna Make It"


Hannah knows she lost her waiver

It’s not a big deal, No!

But we gotta get it


Lets all go

To get Hannah’s waiver

It wont be fun, Yeah!

But we gotta fake it


Let’s go to the wa-ter

It is really warm? NO!

But that doesn’t matter


Ride a wave

Cuz we’re gonna shred it

Even though it’s cold, Yeah!

But we’re gonna shred it.


We know we’re gonna fry it

We don’t have a pan, No!

But we’re gonna fry it


Use a plate

Cuz we’re gonna fry it

It’s gonna work, Yeah.

We don’t want to diet.


We know we’re gonna shred it

Its not too cold, No!

We’re gonna shred it


Let’s go!

We’re gonna shred it

It’s not too cold, No!

We’re gonna shred it, Yeah.



Seven happy upper school students and two teachers returned to Portland on Sunday afternoon feeling rejuvenated and exhausted at the same time. Surfing will do that to a person! 

We left Catlin at 9:15, listened to reggae the whole way, and made it to the Seaside Surf Shop by 11:00 in order to have time to get fitted for wetsuits and boards before heading to Short Sands Beach for the perfect tide and swell.


When we arrived at Short Sands, participants helped carry boards down the ½ mile green and winding path to the beach. We were greeted by about 50 other surfers clad in lycra, paddling out and catching small waves inside and big waves (8’) on the outside. Seth and Lauren did an incredible job explaining Short Sands’ particular currents and breaks—different from most breaks because of the cove’s protection on three sides—and then students practiced their pop-ups on land.


We then headed for the water and fought strong currents to walk and paddle out to the inside breaking waves. Lauren and Seth each took a small group of students and pushed them as the white water came upon them to help them get going. Within 5 or 6 tries, every single student stood up on his or her long board! Students spent the next two hours practicing what they learned, struggling against the currents, and trying to make sense of all the components that go into surfing.


Once we were all tired out, we carried the boards back up to Lauren’s van and said goodbye. After a snack in the parking lot, we went back down to the beach and hit the trail going out to Cape Falcon. Students stood in awe at the side-view of the wave sets as they rolled into the bay, and we discussed some of the details of surf etiquette and technique, as well as wave structure and formation.


After our hike, we collaborated to make a delicious dinner of grilled fish tacos on the green Coleman stove. Though we forgot a frying pan, we made it work by using a metal plate and tin foil. After hiking back up to the bus and loading up all our dinner stuff, we drove south to Manzanita and Hannah Jaquiss’ family’s beach house. We watched the inspiring surf/climbing movie, 180 Degrees South, and fell asleep.


The next morning we drove north back to Short Sands and put all the stuff we’d learned Saturday to good use. Students enjoyed the slightly more mellow waves, though it did make for a greater challenge actually catching the waves. One student even went outside with one of the instructors and tried his hand with a short board.

We stopped for burritos in Manzanita and made it back to campus by 4:30--feeling so stoked!