Surfing’s Top Scholar: Tad McCardell


Tad McCardell Named NSSA Top GPA Scholar

Tad McCardell proves that he can excel outside of the lineup and in the classroom. The 17-year-old San Diego native finished his junior year at Canyon Crest Academy with a 4.7 GPA and was named the NSSA Top GPA Scholar, with Parker Coffin coming in next with a 4.67. Every year the National Scholastic Surfing Association recognizes those NSSA athletes who maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher. Clearly many have gone well beyond and above that standard and are changing the stereotypes that are attached to surfing.

TWS’s Lauren Allik has a brief word with Tad about his high standing achievements.

How does it feel to be the Top NSSA GPA Scholar?
It’s really cool to have some hard work pay off.

What motivated you to do so well in school? Were your parents super strict or was it all yourself?

My parents encouraged me and I worked really hard but I also just wanted to work hard because I enjoyed certain subjects that were interesting to me.

What were your favorite subjects?
My favorite subjects are science and I like math a little bit.

Was it hard to balance your grades and surfing all of these contests?
Yeah it was pretty hard because on the weekends I would be at the contests for most of the day so I would have to do homework in between my heats and stuff like that to balance it out.

I’m sure the ladies dig that you shred and can do math, huh?
[Laughs] I hope so.

Now that it’s summer, what are your plans?
I’m going to Bali in July for two weeks.

You are going to be a senior this year, right?
Yes I’m going to be a senior.

So are you thinking about colleges yet, what’s your plan?
I want to go to some sort of UC, probably UCSB or UCSD.

And you want to be on the surf team there?
Yeah. Definitely.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years, since you have surfing and smarts going for you? You pretty much have it made.
I really want to pursue some sort of surfing career but I am also really interested in pursuing some sort of research or something like that. So a little bit of both, I definitely want to still be surfing but if that doesn’t work out I still want to have a job or backup plan.