When life rolls on, so do the waves

College keeps him busy but there’s always time in his schedule for surfing.

Kevin Skavarna, 18, joined the Saddleback Surf Club last summer, deciding to take about 10 units, some online so he can have the best of both worlds—school and time to hit the waves.

While focusing on business classes, he rides a longboard into competitions for college and around the world.
Even though the college’s team did not have the best outcome this season, he still jaunts along with the waves.

Skvarna started surfing when he was about 5 years old, but did not fully get into it until middle school.

“After 7th or 8th grade is when I really got hooked and it was pretty much over from there,” Skvarna said.

After entering and winning hundreds of competitions locally and all around the world, Skvarna’s favorite event was when he and some friends went to China and watched a girlfriend win the world championship.

“Almost all my competitions have been memorable, but this year in China we had a good season, but watching my friend win the world title was an emotional experience and crazy to share with her,” Skvarna said.

Skvarna has enjoyed surfing in his local stomping grounds like San Onofre, Salt Creek and other similar places that are just as tricky, but relishes being goofy footed in places like La Saladita, Mexico; Australia, Hawaii and even Papua New Guinea.

“I like to ride everything, I’m better on a longboard, but I surf as many different boards as I can, if you cross over a lot you’re going to get better,” Skvarna said. “The World Surf League is more competitive at this time and I like it a little more than local competitions, I get to surf against higher surfing people and that makes me feel stronger.”

Having a strong surfing instructor like Saddleback’s coach Lindsay Steinriede has helped push Skvarna to improve on his skills each time he is out in the water.

“It is really fun to have a coach who is still competing,” Skvarna said. “It really brings knowledge to the team and she’s really good at it, it’s cool.”

Even though surfing has been a part of Skvarna’s life for a while, he admits that without his parents this would be an even more difficult task to accomplish.

“My parents deserve a big thanks, they help me a lot and they are killer,” Skvarna said.

Skvarna hopes to have surfing take him as far as he can go. Whether it is through school across the world in Australia or becoming a pro with some current and hopeful future sponsors, he hopes that with a degree he can go for a ride around the world.

Saddleback’s surf team is part of The National Scholastic Surfing Association. NSSA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. The 2014 team took home the national title at the NSSA intercollegiate championships at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point.