Most athletes only dream about surfing and snowboarding in the same day. But last Sunday, San Diego State’s surfing team had this dream come true. The team’s top eight surfers were invited to participate in the Red Bull Switchboard event this year.
“They (Red Bull) provide us foundation and infrastructure, they give us opportunities to do things that we would never be able to do without them,” Dime said.
The annual Red Bull Switchboard welcomes athletes from all across Southern California to come together to surf in the morning and snowboard in the afternoon. The athletes who partake in the event are from all age groups and range in skill levels. The event allows a diverse group of athletes to share their passion for these action sports among each other.
For the SDSU Surfing team, the morning started out at the beautiful but overcast La Jolla Shores at 7 a.m. Surfers braved the cold and fought the storm, all while keeping their energy up. Then, the surfers switched boards and headed up to Bear Mountain to ride the slopes.
The SDSU surf team’s continuous achievements have garnered support from Red Bull. Not only does the team have the opportunity to experience the brand’s benefits, but they also get to meet professional Red Bull athletes. The surf team had the chance to snowboard with professional big wave surfer Ian Walsh while in Big Bear.
Chad Dime, communications senior and surfing team president, has competitively surfed since age 13 and snowboarded since age 7. Dime has respect for Walsh as an athlete and was eager to find out what motivates him every day to be at his best. The opportunity to meet and enjoy the slopes with a professional athlete is not a common occurrence for college students. This proves the team’s hard work is being recognized and paying off.
The surfing team is the only team at SDSU currently supported by Red Bull.
Doug Van Mierlo, marketing junior and the team’s co-captain, was most excited for the chance to snowboard. He had not boarded since middle school and all the gear he had for the day was borrowed. Even though he confessed to not being the strongest snowboarder, he brought a helmet and was not afraid to shred the slopes.
Mierlo will be the team’s captain next year, and his goals are to maintain the working relationship with Red Bull and the momentum of a successful team.
Dime has full trust in Mierlo and sees his motivation in all aspects of Mierlo’s life.
“I hate losing more than I like winning,” Mierlo said.
While most SDSU students were winding down their spring breaks on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the surfing team completed the high energy switchboard event around 10 p.m.