California State University Channel Islands

PHED 105. ZEN OF SURFING (1 unit)
Fridays 9-11AM
Instructors: Jack Reilly and Matthew Furmanski

"The Zen state culminates in the ride, on the wave, where all natural elements and human senses fuse into a spontanious transformation of (no) consciousness, experienced in an absolute timeless moment." Jack Reilly

Course Description: Zen of Surfing
Exploration into the physiological and psychological benefits that result from human interaction with forces of nature. Students develop an increased understanding of the ocean and complex dynamics that underlie the sport of surfing. The interrelationship between physical activity and personal aesthetics are explored through surfing and related activities. Two hours per week. GE: Section E

Course Objectives and Outcomes

Through class lectures, physical training and surfing activities, students will:

  • Analyze aspects of natural forces and participate in harmonious existence with the physical environment.
  • Develop motor skills, coordination and strength related to the sport of surfing.
  • Comprehend Zen principles and experience peace of mind through the combination of physical activity and meditation.
  • Demonstrate increased balance and agility through surfing activities.
  • Develop a sense of community and appreciation for group activites.
  • Gain self-confidence as they improve as surfers and increase physical skills and coordination.
  • Appreciate the natural environment through participation in scheduled surfing activities.
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of the interrelationship between the forces of nature and the human condition.
Through class presentations, field trips, movies, physical recreation and surfing activities, the following topics will be covered:
  • The History of surfing
  • Evolution of surfboards and equipment
  • Physical training and coordination exercises
  • Surfing rules and etiquette
  • The sources of surf
  • Zen meditation techniques and breathing exercises
  • Past and contemporary surfing culture
  • Surfing images, icons and legends
  • Surf films and music
  • Great surf spots of the world
  • Surfing: ocean safety
  • Basic surfing technique
  • Paddling, duck diving and wave survival
  • Soul surfing vs. competitive surfing
  • Advanced methods and styles
  • Physical benefits of surfing
  • Emotional benefits of surfing

Student Evaluation:

Students participate in training for physical strength, coordination and skill development through scheduled exercise and surfing activities.

Midterm and final exams are based on information from class discussions, activities and the text books.

  • Attendance, class participation, effort and general commitment: 40%
  • Participationt in physical activities and surfing sessions  40%
  • Midterm examination: 10%
  • Final examination: 10%

Recommeded Reading

  • Yogis, Jamal. Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea. Wisdom Publications 2009
  • Werner, Doug. Surfer's Start-Up: A Beginners Guide to Surfing.  Tracks Publishing, 1999
  • Frediani, Paul & Peck Peter. Surf Flex: Flexibility, Yoga, for Surfing. Hatherleigh Press, 2001
  • Moriarity, Jay & Gllagher Chris. The Ultimate Guide to Surfing. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001
  • Roth, K.; Quinby, K.; Lopez, G. The Zen of Oceans and Surfing: Wit, Wisdom and Inspiration. Skipstone Press, 2009
  • Snyder, Rocky. Fit to Surf. Emerson Publishing Company 2003
  • Duane, Daniel. Caught Inside. North Point Press, 1997
  • Gutierrez, Greg . Zen and the Art of Surfing (short stories). Julian Paz Publishing, 2008
  • Doyle, Mike. Morning Glass, Manzanita Press, 1993

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