Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Garrett Edwards had been a surfer for five years when some of his fellow Sailors expressed an interest in learning as well. After some negotiations with the Fun Boss and his chain of command, he decided that forming a club, where he could teach a larger group, would be better than trying to teach each Sailor individually.
Edwards started the first surf club on board the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), where he is stationed.
“There are no real prerequisites, as long as you know how to swim, but you don’t have to be 2nd Class swim qualified,” said Edwards.
Edwards is working with Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) to schedule fundraisers that will help pay for surf boards so club members do not have to buy their own.
“My plan, as of right now, is to have events out in Norfolk, teach people how to surf and do some fundraisers here,” said Edwards. “When we go on deployment, I plan to continue to teach people when we make port calls, that way, as a group, we can experience surfing around the world.”
Edwards is also working with the Life Rolls On Foundation to organize surf club participation in an event schedule for Aug. 9. The Life Rolls on Foundation teaches wounded veterans and others with disabilities how to surf.
Ultimately, Edwards would like to see the surf club grow beyond the steely confines of TR and spread to other ships on Norfolk’s waterfront.
“My plan for this is to not only set up a surf club on our ship but also on other [ships],” said Edwards. “That way we can have some friendly competition between our ship and others at the base.”
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Spears, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs