Welcome to the university of surf

Trystan Mullins and Mia Melamed with 1974 world surfing champion Peter Townend.
Trystan Mullins and Mia Melamed with 1974 world surfing champion Peter Townend. Scott Powick

A CLASSROOM full of surfing hopefuls listened to one of world’s surfing greats yesterday as part of the Southern Cross University surf studies course.

Peter Townend, the first professional world surfing champion in 1976, grew up surfing the breaks at Kirra and Snapper and went on to not only surf internationally, but also work as the vice president of marketing for surf brand Rusty.

Mr Townend now speaks to business hopefuls and students across the world, and is encouraging young surfers to not just get an education in the ocean, but also in the classroom.

“Too many guys of my generation were too worried about going surfing and not enough about their future,” Mr Townend said.

“Getting into a course like this is fantastic because it gives students wanting to get into the industry the book smarts to go with their street smarts; it gives you the best of both worlds,” Mr Townend said.

Throughout his hour-long lecture, Mr Townend spoke to the class about turning yourself into a brand, getting a foot in the industry, how to network and what they should be reading.

“A course like this is really needed because the surf industry is really struggling to find people that have the experience needed to compete with such huge companies,” Mr Townend said.

The SCU course, a diploma of sports management, focuses on surfing studies and is attended by students who not only enjoy surfing but want to make it in the increasingly competitive world of surf branding.

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