Surf ATL Community Spotlight: Tyler Urrutia
Every surfer has a story and this is the latest installment of our Surf ATL Community Spotlight series where we will feature surfers and those part of the surf culture in the Atlanta area. Check out our previous spotlights on Thomas Roginsky, Spencer Broome, Anthony Kennedy, Nick Bramwell, the Merlo Family, Mike Dobbs, Kristian Erik Bjerke, Jamie Eichler, Doug Paul, Brandon Spivia, Robert Hanson, Liam Spoon, Eric Ilustrisimo, Susan Bond, Jason Smith, Garrett Gilfillan, Silvia Saey, Scott Mennicke, Tammie Dalrymple, Wes Espinosa, Peter Gudbrandsen, Kelby Graham, Kayvon Nazarian, Abigail Pierce, Clark Campbell, Katy Harrison, Sam Burrafato, Maggie Maziarz, Erik Barron, Erin Keith, Jenny Serwitz, Adam Hunter, Joyce and Mack, Jackson Kearns, and Jessica Luna.
My name is Tyler Urrutia. I am a senior at Lake Oconee Academy, I work with Georgia Wake Lessons and I am going to Auburn in the fall and majoring in mechanical engineering.
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I primarily wake surf but have also tried ocean surfing here and there on family trips to North Carolina. I’d love to do more ocean surfing, too.
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
We moved out to the Lake Oconee area when I was four or five years old and then moved onto the lake itself when I was in high school.
When I was seven or eight years old, we were hanging out on an island in the lake and we saw someone surfing and got invited onto the boat. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Then close family friends got a surf boat and I went out with them as much as I could. When I was fifteen, my family got a boat and let me go out on quiet nights once I had my license.
Where and how often do you surf?
I surf at Lake Oconee every chance I get — over the last two summers we’ve put about 300 hours on the boat.
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
My favorite thing about surfing is how creative I can get. There are so many different ways to have your own style which makes it unique. Everyone has a different style of surfing — you could shadow my friends out and I can still tell who is surfing.
Surfing is also extra special for me because when I was in 5th or 6th grade, I found out I had an issue with my knees which meant I couldn’t wakeboard or snowboard but I could surf so surfing has given me an outlet.
What do you do to advance your surfing?
For me, it is about quality repetition. When I’m learning a new trick, I still need to practice everything else but I grind on that one thing and make sure to get that down.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
I just want to see the sport grow. Everyone who ever tries surfing loves it and continuing to introduce it to new people will only help it grow.
Credit to @thepinkpeach_photography for the photos below!