Meet the Talented Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) Surf Team
Placed conveniently on Sunset cliffs in San Diego and around a variety of different waves to choose from, it is no wonder that Point Loma Nazarene University attracts a large community of surfers.
For years, the surfing here has put this school on the map — and this year is no exception.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Point Loma’s surf team and everything there is to know about them.
PLNU Surf Team History
Starting off with just a mere 7 surfers, Point Loma’s surf team hasn’t always been what it is today.
The PLNU surf team had their first ever recorded NSSA National title in the year 2005.
With a 2nd place ranking, this was the start of a team that would later be seen as one to beat.
Since then, the presence and explosiveness of Point Loma has been undeniable.
Gaining some footing from 2016 until 2018, the team had a 3 year winning streak.
This progress came to a halt in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus protocols, but once returning to the competitive scene, the team was antsy to put their name back on the leaderboard.
Just last year, the team received a second place title which has motivated them to come back and claim first place this season.
This year, the team has expanded to a roster of over 35 athletes, which is the largest to date. Will they take back their first place title this year?
Later, we’ll look into some specific statistics from the team this 2022/2023 season and see how probable this outcome could be.
What is the NSSA?
NSSA is the National Scholastic Surfing Association under which many individuals and schools compete under.
This non-profit organization runs over 80 nationwide events and has been given the name of “the highest profile youth surfing event in America.”
Each year, you can find the Point Loma surf team competing in these NSSA events against some of the best colleges in the nation.
Highlighted PLNU Surf Team Athletes
Tyler Nash: Co-Capitan
Tyler Nash has been on Point Loma’s surf team for all of his 4 years at the school.
This year, Nash got the opportunity to serve as one of the two co-captains and was able to see the team from a different perspective than in the past.
When asked what his favorite part of his new role was, he emphasized on the fact that he gets to foster a community.
“It’s more than a team. It’s more like a group of Christian’s with a passion for surfing that are intentional about the way they live,” says Nash.
It’s clear that this team has a strong gift for surfing, but also a community aspect which brings them closer together.
One thing Nash distinguished from the team this year was a new sense of group effort. He stated, “this year there seems to be a more hungry desire to win as a team and not just as an individual athlete.”
We’ve seen this same team effort as crowds of individuals begin to form on the beach to cheer on their team, even if they are not competing.
Jackson Butler: Co-Capitan
Jackson Butler is the surf team’s other co-capitan. He has been on the team for 2 years and has truly made a name for himself during this time.
Last year, Butler ranked 3rd out of all mens short borders and is currently placed 2nd this season.
When talking about the NSSA events the team participates in, Butler brought up an important point that this league really is filled with the best of the best. He stated that his team is “so talented it’s easy to forget how hard these contests are, but what the team has done is really impressive.”
He also highlighted that this year there have been a few freshmen stepping up to the plate and positively impacting the team.
Butler specifically pointed out first-year students Makana Franzman, Dylan Franzman, and Micah Abadie who have all been thrown into high pressure situations and exceeded expectations.
“The level of talent we have this year is off the charts, and the number of freshmen contributing at the top level for us is really different from years past. We’ve taken a more data driven approach to roster contrition this year and it's really paying off,” says Butler.
Whatever strategies these two captains have been applying to the team, have clearly shown positive outcomes.
Let’s look at some of the success that this team has been having.
2023 Rankings & Results
This year alone, has been one of the most successful seasons in the books for Point Loma’s team.
Of the 3 recorded regular season NSSA events, Point Loma’s team has unanimously taken first place in all of them, giving them a total score of 9,000 points.
The closest team behind is Saddleback College with a conference total of 6,600 points.
Once again, the domination of the team is undeniable. Apart from the team scores as a whole, there have been a few standout individuals who have been consistently rising to the occasions.
Currently ranked within the top 10 men's short boarders out of 256 athletes is
Dylan Franzmann (1st)
Jackson Butler (2nd)
Makana Franzmann (5th)
Ethan Mudge (6th)
Point Loma is currently occupying 40% of NSSA’s best male shortboarders! Further honorable mentions are longboarder, Chase Adelhson’s current 7th place ranking and women’s shortboarders, Zoe Bonik and Riley Malmsten’s 3rd and 10th place positions.
These athletes continue to show up at each and every event and set new highs which their competitors have to follow.
The team will be traveling down to Salt Creek in Dana Point on June 16th, where we will find out what their final individual and team results will be for the entirety of the season!
Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) Surf Team
The PLNU Surf Team may have taken some time to gain their footing, but once they did, they exploded! Ever since 2016, this team has been blowing the minds of everyone and changing the game.
This year alone, the team has shown why they deserve their place on that NSSA leaderboard and how they intend to stay at that first place ranking.
If you wish to see how the end of their season pans out, head over to Salt Creek on June 16th to watch them finish with a bang!