AGENTS OF CHANGE: THE CITY SURF PROJECT
Through a combination of subterfuge, embargoed evidence, and tight lips those ensconced in San Francisco's surf scene tend to do everything in their power to keep the city's seasonally world-class surf to themselves. But while they've historically done a good job of keeping things under wraps–doing their damnedest to dissuade the multitudes of techies who've descended upon the city's ocean adjacent neighborhoods from entering the lineups–a non-profit organization is trying to introduce surfing to the city's underrepresented populations.
Founded by local high school teacher, Johnny Irwin, The City Surf Project started as a way to bring his students to the beach—through his own research, Irwin learned that something like 80% of youths in San Francisco had never visited the Pacific Ocean, which reaches the coastal districts of the city just about seven miles from any neighborhood.
As the City Surf Project grew, the organization has drawn more and more volunteers from the ranks of the area's traditionally underground surf scene, including former “Surfing Magazine” editor Leo Maxam, and OBSF outsiders like photographer, Nathan Lawrence.
"The look on the kids faces—pure excitement," says Lawrence of his first experience with CSP. "It got a feeling that was different than any other experience I’d had surfing.'