SM Alum Catches Wave as New Surf Coach

SM Alum Catches Wave as New Surf Coach

Santa Margarita Catholic High School welcomes new surf team coach and alum Anton Villanueva '92. The season is underway with a robust team of 18 surfers. The team will participate in six competitions this season held at either 9th Street in Huntington Beach or the North side of the San Clemente pier.

When asked why he decided to coach, he said, "SM needed help. Time was ticking. I have some time right now and felt it was a good way to mentor today's youth and get a feel for what it's like for them."

Practice is wherever the most convenient location is for students. Most surfers practice in the zone between Laguna and San Clemente since many live near that coastline. Salt Creek is the most popular place to practice. 

Villanueva's surfing journey started in middle school with body surfing and body boarding, which evolved to stand-up surfing. "The best surf spot is Indonesia, or wherever I am, I am alone, away from crowds, which is getting more difficult to achieve with surfing's huge nonstop growth," said Villanueva.

He says his favorite surfing memories are "more than just the moment of a fantastic wave that gets burned into your core memory – it's also about who you're with and where you are."

"Every time I get a proper tube or barrel is a favorite surfing memory," Villanueva added.

Villanueva has noticed upgrades on campus since his days as a young Eagle. Villanueva said, "I've noticed the track is no longer dirt; we have a pool and no more lockers."

"Communication with the surf team is important. What surfers share with me about their experiences in the water matters so I can have a conversation with them about whatever it is in their surfing that can be improved or tweaked," said Villanueva.

  • Surf