Conner Claus / Courtesy Photo

When you think of Halloween, what typically comes to mind? Trick-or-treating? Scary movies? For biomedical engineering senior Griffin Paul, it’s surfing.

Four Halloweens ago, Paul and his friends decided to throw on their costumes and hit the waves.

“It turned out to be a blast and we decided to make it a tradition,” Paul said.

On Saturday Oct. 29, Paul, along with 60 other Cal Poly students, headed to the beach near Morro Rock, wearing their best costumes. From astronauts to life-size bananas, surfers paddled out for the fourth annual Spookfest.

The event was originally set for Sunday, but because of a forecast of larger swells, Paul decided to move Spookfest to Saturday. The waves were smaller that day, accommodating for beginner surfers. Spookfest veterans also reached out to the Central Coast Surf School, who brought out a truck full of boards and wetsuits, ensuring that nothing would inhibit less equipped surfers from joining in on the fun.

While the Spookfest team was able to connect with a local surf school, Paul aspires to involve the surrounding community even more so in future years.

“I’ll be graduating soon, but I plan on coming back for future Spookfests. I hope that it can eventually turn into a fundraiser. More and more people come every year but mainly Cal Poly students,” Paul said. “It would be great to gain the attention of the SLO community at large, and maybe turn the event into something that gives back.”

Whether attendees were paddling around in Morro Bay’s cold water or simply watching the festivities from the beach,  there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Conner Claus / Courtesy Photo

“The lineup was scattered with brightly colored costumes. I saw banana drop in on a bomb set of waves, then a witch went screaming past me,” mechanical engineering senior Kai Staal said. “It was a bunch of cool ghouls having fun.”

Staal made a video documenting the fun from the waves.

If surfing in costume wasn’t fun enough, participants also look forward to what Paul calls “party waves.” A party wave occurs when a big group of surfers all ride the same wave.

Spookfest participant and mechanical engineer senior Chris Naughton has made Spookfest a tradition and hopes to keep attending after he graduates.

“Growing up surfing I learned that the best surfer is the one having the most fun and Spookfest truly embraces that mentality,” Naughton said.
There are many ways to embrace the Halloween spirit, but who knew surfing would make the list?

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