Learn the History of ‘Catch a Wave’ Through CSM Course

International Surfing Competitor Leads Class on Surfing Culture

In his mid-60s, Bruce Gabrielson could easily be spending his weekends on yard work and ‘Honey-do’ lists.  Instead, when he’s not traveling for his job, he’s riding to shore on his Walden Magic Model surfboard and, beginning Sept. 13, will lead a weekly class, “Surfing: The Culture, and Complexity of the Sport,” through the College of Southern Maryland’s community education program. Gabrielson has loved surfing since his days growing up in California, and he wants others to share his passion. The class will meet Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 6 at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick. Gabrielson will discuss the history of the popularity of surfing and how its culture shaped a generation. The course will also include information on competition techniques, board design, predicting waves, surf etiquette and the best places to surf within driving distance of the D.C. metro area.

            Gabrielson knew being a beach bum would only take him so far in life, so he began taking classes for electrical engineering at California State University, Long Beach. “My parents supported me—as long as I got good grades,” he said. “I worked hard in class to support my true love: surfing.”

            While continuing to give lessons, surf and compete on the national level, Gabrielson earned a PhD in electrical engineering at age 40 and a master’s in business administration (MBA) at 41.

            Now, a lead technical advisor in computer network defense for Booz Allen Hamilton, Gabrielson marvels at the lifestyle he’s carved out for himself. When he’s not traveling for his job, he is traveling to beaches from California to South America and competing in his age group or meeting up with fellow surfing friends. Mostly, though, he stays closer to home, watching the weather and surf reports for Ocean City and Assateague Island before sending out a surf’s-up alert to his club, the Caravan Surf Club. “We meet up at 5:30 a.m. in Annapolis, and are unpacking our gear in Ocean City by 7:30 a.m. By 10 a.m., when city ordinances shove us off the beach, we are ready for lunch and the drive home.” Plenty of time to putter around the house and wax a board for his next outing.

            For information on CSM’s community education programs, visit www.csmd.edu/Training/Schedules/.


Surfing: The Culture and Complexity of the Sport. 5-8 p.m., Sept. 13-Dec. 6. Calvert High School, 520 Fox Run Boulevard, Prince Frederick. International competitive surfer and Calvert County resident Bruce Gabrielson will lead a course on the history of the popularity of surfing and how its culture shaped a generation. The course will also include technique, board selection, information on local clubs and best places to surf within driving distance of D.C. metro area.  Registration is at www.csmd.edu/Training/Schedules/, use course number PEP 8210. 301-934-7725 or VickieG@csmd.edu.