Ah thats new, started in 2010. That was when I left. There weren't very many surfers at all in my last year there, it seemed that everyone who could surf and was serious left either a year or 2 before me or in the same year as me. (Talking about students here, there are obviously local surfers in the town and surrounding area, who you will meet if you surf with any regularity through the colder months when the tourists/beginner crowds aren't around)
This is the sort of 'uni surf club' thing I always give a wide berth:
Wanna see as many of the surf club out as possible, boardshorts, rashies and carboard surfboards are a must! Pub crawl starting at the Rule at 8.30pm. See you all there!
For what its worth I don't recognise anybody on the committee, even though a couple of them overlapped my time there by a year or 2, I pretty much knew everyone who surfed well in the town and surfed with any regularity, even if it was just to say hello to when I saw them out there.
My feelings are that you are never more than a mile from the beach in town, and if theres waves, there will be other people out. Just go surfing, and meet people in the water. That way you will meet people who surf regularly. I met lots of students in my time there who liked to talk about surfing in the pub, and never saw them in the water, ever, if you wait for those kinds of people you will never go out.
This isn't a slight on the people running the surf club there now, I don't know any of them, some of them may rip. Who knows. Although the pic of the vice president and safety officer is with a swelly under his arm. And the give it a go day is held at west sands. Which is one of the few breaks that makes east sands look like a heavy wave
I wouldn't even bother going to west, unless its a decent size and low tide it will barely have enough power push you along, east is better 99% of the time, unless some mysto sandbank has appeared in the last 2 years.
As for the quote from Gerry Lopez, "if in doubt, paddle out", I think in st andrews thats a pretty good rule to live by. East sands really is a very safe beach, the only rips that tend to develop there are long shore drifts when the wind is howling cross shore. If its massive you just won't get past the white water if you shouldn't be out there. Thats about 5 days a year anyway.. Most of the time the doubts will be because it looks like shit.
I just wrote an essay. I guess I was reminiscing a bit haha. You will get some good waves there if you are committed, but the long flat spells, big tidal dependance and short-lived wind swells mean you have to be on top of it, and ready to drop everything when it looks good.