Tucker Coleman ’25 to compete at national surfing championships in California
Salve Regina surfer Tucker Coleman ’25, an undecided major from Montauk, New York, will compete for a national championship title alongside the country’s top qualifiers in the open men’s division of the 2021 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) championships. These are held Nov. 16-23 in Huntington Beach, California.
Coleman earned an automatic bid to nationals on the merits of his third-place finish in April at the NSSA East Coast Championships held in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. More than 80 NSSA events are run nationwide each year and culminate with the National Championships, regarded as the highest profile youth surfing event in America.
“Honestly, just being in California surfing there with friends is enough, and the contest is just gravy for me,” said Coleman, who grew up surfing with his family and friends locally at Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk. “But I am definitely going to try and win for sure. I think keeping a level head and taking it one step at a time is the key for me to do my best.”
Coleman has been surfing for most of his life, an activity his entire family enjoys doing together. “The first time that I surfed, I remember I was with my friends — Chase, Riley and Henry,” he recalled. “It was super cool to share all of the same feelings with my friends at such a young age, and the feeling of standing up for the first time was insane. It feels like you’re flying, and time slows down.”
The entire Coleman family travels regularly to Barbados and Mexico to surf together, and Coleman’s dad, Chris, surfed with him while the family visited Salve Regina during Fall Festival Weekend on Oct. 29-31.
“Having Ruggles right there and Tuckerman’s around the corner was a huge draw for Tucker to attend Salve, in addition to everything else the University offers,” Chris Coleman said. “He’s a soul surfer. It’s his passion. He wasn’t huge on the contests at first but has recently gotten into it and been very competitive.”
A graduate of East Hampton High School, Coleman said being able to surf at Salve Regina played a significant role in his decision to attend.
“Seeing a school this close to the coast brought me here, and it was so cool to see how the vibe was here at Salve being right next to the ocean,” he said. “Surfing here is a really big priority for me because I know how far I want to go with it. So normally, if the waves are really fun, I will make the most of it during the day and do my homework at night.
“I plan on competing a bunch more, and turning pro is definitely a goal of mine,” he said. “I hope to travel after graduation and go surf at other cool places I have never been to. I really want to make a surf movie as well.”