NSSA - National Scholastic Surfing Association

The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. The NSSA promotes the qualities of discipline and competitive excellence while supporting the merits of academic achievement to young surfers. The NSSA strives to provide a fun surfing experience for all of its members.

The NSSA is one of the few national youth sports organizations that require its participants to maintain academic standards in order to compete. Since 1978, the NSSA program philosophy has been that athletics and scholastics go hand in hand. More than 80 NSSA events are run nationwide that culminate with the annual National Championships which is regarded as the highest profile youth surfing event in America.

Surfer the Week - Archives (2020)

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

ZAL COSTA

Age: 12
Hometown: Kona, Hawaii
School: Acellus Academy; GPA: 3.6; Favorite subject: Art & Math
Sponsors: Hurley, GoPro, Nixon, Range Essential, Salt & Stone, Kona Boys, Team BK, North Shore Surf Shop, PIKAI Hawaii
Equipment: Timmy Patterson 5'0" round tail; Tokoro 5'0" squash tail
Claim to Fame: From the moment Zal showed up at the very first event to kick off the 20/21 Southwest Conference Open Season at Ventura Harbor in April, his potential was obvious. You could see that competitive fire and determination were in his eyes. Even though the 12-year-old from the Big Island of Hawaii only advanced to the quarterfinals in that first contest, it was clear it wouldn’t take him long to adjust to the west coast wave conditions and start making finals. With contests still on hold in Hawaii because of the pandemic, the Costa family were dedicated to get both Zal and his younger brother Kona as much experience as possible which required multiple trips across the Pacific. And before long, Zal’s skill level soared and he was not only making finals, he was winning them. He was also stepping up into advanced age brackets and making finals in those. The following weekend after the Ventura Open, Zal got his first taste of victory, claiming the win in the Menehuene division of the Southwest Explorer event 2 in Huntington Beach. His confidence kicked in after that first win and he went on an incredible streak racking up six victories and multiple finals placings. He stormed up the ranks, dropping huge scores in every contest which included a perfect 10 at the SW Explorer doubleheader season finale. “Of all the contests, the last Explorers were my favorite,” Zal said. “I got a perfect 10 for a glassy barrel and was able to take back-to-back wins which earned me my first season championship.” Along with securing the season title in the Explorer Menehuenes, Zal finished in the top five of Explorer Boys and Open Mini Groms. We will see him back in August, competing at the West Coast Regionals and then making his first trip to the NSSA National Championships. He has a huge goal - “To win the NSSA Nationals!” Zal has soaked up all the victories, adapted to the challenges, dealt with the losses but most importantly he has been learning so much as he goes. “Coming out to California, I have had the opportunity to compete at new spots and learn new things,” he said. “That has made me work hard to be good in all conditions.” Now that Zal has received a huge taste of west coast competition, made the most of his experiences and has achieved success, we are excited to see what the Kona boy brings to the National stage! WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT COMPETING IN THE CALIFORNIA EVENTS? Surfing new types of waves and meeting new friends. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: My dad started pushing me into waves when I was 3. I would stand up and surf right to my mom who was swimming on the inside. SURF CREW: My little brother Kona. LOCAL SPOT: Banyans. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING ON THE BIG ISLAND? It is a very natural and powerful place. I like living the simple life in the country. LOCAL HEROES: Shane Dorian for mastering Kona conditions and making the World Tour. Then he gave back to the sport creating the Keiki Classic for all the Big Island groms. Also Sam Fenwick who we surf with every day. He is the best surfer in Kona. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Gabriel Medina. I am half Brazilian and Gabriel is the best in the world. He is focused, successful and a great performer. Also, John John Florence, Filipe Toledo and Morgan Ciblic. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Andy Irons because he has the most silky, smooth style. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Teleport and move through time to find the best breaks and empty lineups. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: My mom was born and raised on Oahu and my dad is from Brazil. They were the first to import acai from Brazil to Hawaii and started the first acai bowl shop in Hawaii almost 20 years ago! DREAM WAVE: Desert Point, Bali. BARRELS OR AIRS? Barrels all day. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? My brother Kona because we are close in age and he is really good. He is such a charger and we always push and support each other to be better and go big. GOALS THIS YEAR: To win the NSSA National Championships and be invited to the USA Champs. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON? My air game and my turns. THANK YOUS: To all of my family, friends, sponsors and organizers that help put on all the events.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

KAYLIN WEINRICH

Age: 16
Hometown: Boynton Beach, Florida
School: Florida Atlantic University HS; 11th grade. GPA: 4.0. Weighed GPA: 5.2. Favorite subject: Science
Sponsors: Ricky Carroll Surfboards, Nomad Surf Shop, Pacific Vibrations Fins, Dakine, and Ishkabibbles Designs.
Equipment: 9’2" Custom Ricky Retro Longboard.
Claim to Fame: Kaylin is very worthy of this week’s Surfer of the Week honors not only for what she has accomplished with her competitive surfing but also what she has achieved in the classroom. We will start out with her big championship triumph in April when she claimed her first Regional title in the Explorer Womens Longboard division at the 2021 East Coast Championships. Not only was this a major competitive breakout event for the 16-year-old from Florida’s Boynton Beach, it was her first trip to Regionals! “Winning my first East Coast Championship title was such an incredible experience,” Kaylin said. “I remember how happy I felt when Janice announced that I was the first crowned champion and how stoked I was when my friends ran over to chair me up. Seeing how proud my dad was made the whole experience even better!” But this was not a sudden ambition for Kaylin. Ever since putting on her very first contest jersey, she made her intentions known. “Ever since I began surfing competitively, I set a goal for myself to win an East Coast title,” she said. “So, I was proud of myself for achieving that.” Along with taking her first title, Kaylin was the only female to final in the co-ed Open and Explorer Longboard divisions in a stacked field of skilled surfers! Over and above her dedication to surfing, is her commitment to her education. She is a junior at Florida Atlantic University High School but with the school’s accelerated pre-collegiate program she is also entering her sophomore year at FAU which means she is working towards a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree simultaneously. “Although my passion for surfing is strong, school always comes first,” she said. “I have always pushed myself hard throughout my studies, and my goal is to maintain my 4.0 GPA. I am currently majoring in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and am extremely interested in becoming a sports physical therapist, which would allow me to rehabilitate professional surfers.” By the way, she forgot to mention her weighted GPA is a 5.2! Kaylin balances both her surfing and staying on top of her academic game by prioritizing her studies but also making sure she spends enough time in the water each day. She has her sights set on coming out to Huntington Beach for the National Championships in October and challenging herself against the nation's best. Not only will this be her first trip out to the Nationals, but it will be her first surfing experience on the west coast. “It will be my first-time surfing in California, so I am super excited to surf a lot of the well-known spots there,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting and surfing against all of the talented surfers from Hawaii and California!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT NEW SMYRNA BEACH? I was fortunate that I had the first heats in the morning every day of the competition because the waves were glassy and rippable. Competing in Florida can be difficult because the conditions can be less than optimal, so I was stoked to have the waves that allowed me to perform. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: My dad taught me how to surf when I was about 11. I am forever grateful that he introduced me to a sport that brings me so much happiness! SURF CREW: The Delray Surf Club, my dad, Gavin Idone, and Emily Ulman. LOCAL SPOT: Delray Beach. LOCAL HEROES: Ricky Carroll and Justin Quintal. Along with being one of the best shapers ever, Ricky is also a well-accomplished competitive surfer. I have been fortunate enough to hear a lot of stories from his glory days of competing. On top of being a world champion longboarder, Justin also represents the Florida lifestyle perfectly! He has always been a huge role model of mine. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Carissa Moore because she is a powerhouse surfer and such a kindhearted person. I hope to share waves with her someday! And Kelia Moniz because she was once a fierce competitor and an incredibly talented longboarder. I admire Kelia for how family-orientated she is and for her ability to charge pumping surf on a longboard. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? I would want to be as calm and composed as Joel Tudor is on the nose. I admire Joel for how graceful and effortless he makes surfing look. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Teleportation. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: Although I am a junior in high school, I am actually a sophomore in college. I attend Florida Atlantic University High School, which a unique dual enrollment school on the Florida Atlantic University campus. I have been fully enrolled at FAU since my sophomore year in high school, and I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree from FAU when I am 19! DREAM WAVE: Saladita Point, Mexico. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? My dad has helped me become a smarter competitive surfer and always gives me the best pointers at events. In addition, Gavin Idone, who is a successful competitor himself and has helped me become a better surfer. He constantly inspires me to push my surfing and always gets me amped to compete! THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON? I’m working on holding hang 10’s in the pocket longer, and I am trying to improve my cross-step cutbacks so that they are more fluid. THANK YOUS: A huge thanks to my dad for always pushing me to excel in every aspect of my life, Jason Motes, my mom, brothers, and everyone else that has supported me so far!
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

BRYNN GALLAGHER

Age: 13
Hometown: Ocean City, New Jersey
School: Westminster Christian Academy, 7th grade; Favorite Subject: Math; GPA: 4.0
Sponsors: Roxy, FCS, Surface Sunscreen, Freestyle Watches, 7th St Surf Shop, i-Heart Pom Pom, Bungalow Bowls.
Equipment: 5’6 Lost Mayhem, Pocket Rocket
Claim to Fame: It is no secret that Brynn Gallagher works hard and competes hard. So, when the 2020 East Coast Regionals was announced to go off at Carolina Beach, Brynn dusted off the competitive cobwebs and could not wait to get back in the jersey. The 13-year-old from Ocean City, NJ surfed well enough earning a finals berth in the Open Super Girls placing 4th but knew she could do better. “I wasn’t happy with the way I surfed Regionals at all,“ she was quoted as saying in her local newspaper. “I was riding a board that was way too small for me. After I lost my last heat, my dad made me line up and start doing sprints down the beach. I was looking forward to getting another change at the Nationals.” With the Nationals coming up in a short month, Brynn got her equipment dialed, practiced at her local break Suicides which best replicated the waves at Jennette's Pier and focused more on the process instead of the outcome. This would be her first trip to the Nationals and what made it even more special was it would be held on the east coast for the first time ever. It is common knowledge for competitive success that the way you win championships is by going for it, and not holding back. With the support crew of her dad, Jason Motes and Josh Motes by her side, Brynn surfed her way into the Open Super Girls final in about as perfect conditions as you will ever see at Jennette’s. Staying in perfect rhythm in the overhead, firing conditions compliments of Hurricane Epsilon, she won the division in dominating fashion taking first places in every heat in route to her first National title. Following her momentous victory, she said, “I focused on my wave selection and I just wanted to go big and have no regrets. I am extremely stoked.” Since the inception of the Super Girls division in 2016 when the NSSA expanded its age categories, the titles have been dominated by west coasters and Hawaiians. Brynn became the first east coaster to add her name to the prestigious list of National Super Girls Champions and bringing it home to Jersey was even more special. She returned to Ocean City to find her house decorated with banners of congratulations by local legend Rob Kelly. “Ever since I started surfing my dream was to win a National title before I was a teenager,” she said. “So, to achieve this goal feels awesome!” ## What did you like best about the waves at Jennette’s Pier? It was pumping, offshore and warm. Age you started surfing? My dad taught me how to surf when I was 8 years old. Surf crew: My dad, my sister Mia, and the whole 7th Street Surf Shop crew. Local spot: Suicides and 1st Street Jetty. What is the best thing about calling Ocean City your home? You can bike everywhere, and we get really good barrels in the winter. Local heroes: Definitely Rob Kelly and Matt Keenan because they always pump up the groms, and Jerry Smith for always calling me out. How do you psych yourself up for the brutal Jersey winters? It is definitely cold! The average water temp is around 37F, you have to wear a 5/4 wetsuit with a thick hood, 7mil boots, and 7 mil mittens. I start doing ice baths with my dad in early October to get prepared. I psych myself up by listening to Lil Uzi and Lil Baby. Favorite pro surfers: Caroline Marks because she is from the east coast, and she absolutely rips! If you could surf like anyone in the world who would it be? A mix of John John Florence and Italo, their surfing is insane. Surfer at Nationals that impressed you: At that level everyone was blowing my mind.. Fantasy superpower: Teleportation. If you were not a surfer what would you be? Definitely a competitive lacrosse player. Something people do not know about you: I’m terrified of planes and heights. Dream wave: Overhead pealing left hand point break with no one out. Who has pushed your surfing the most? My sister Mia, we are always pushing each other. Goals for 2021: Be the best version of myself. Thank yous: My parents for always being supportive, Jason Motes for always being there for me, my sister Mia, my sponsors, and everyone who has supported me along the way.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

TANNER VODRASKA

Age: 16
Hometown: Camarillo, California
School: Adolfo Camarillo High School: 11th grade; Favorite subject: English
Sponsors: Xcel Wetsuits, Lost Surfboards, Globe Brand, Scoscheinic, Revolution
Equipment: Lost Surfboards, Pocket Rocket 5'5"
Claim to Fame: In the day of a thrilling season opener for the 2020/21 Northwest Conference at world famous Steamer Lane, we were reminded of how awesome it is to see kids back in the jersey on the west coast after a year of no contests. Events were finally back in California and Tanner Vodraska would be the first to clinch the first win in the top level Open Mens division. In his return to competition, the 16-year-old from Camarillo was excited to get back in contest mode and it showed in his performance. From his round one opener through to the final, he won all of his heats in solid conditions at the Lane. “I am stoked winning the first contest of the 20/21 season because there hasn’t been a comp on the west coast in almost a year,” Tanner said. “The waves were sick and I couldn’t wait to get out there in the water. It felt so good to be back in competition.” Surfing and competition is in Tanner’s DNA. His dad Yari was a standout in the Gold Coast Masters division in the mid 2000’s. Tanner identifies his father as the main man who has mentored him, laying the foundation for his son and educating him on the sport's fundamentals. “I started surfing when I was 5-years-old with my dad and he has taught me everything I know today,” Tanner said. “At the contests, he still gives me tips and we come up with a game plan but he wants me to make my own decisions in the heats.” Growing up around the Ventura beach breaks, it is no surprise that Tanner developed a progressive, creative surfing style looking up to some of the most talented and innovative aerial surfers in the sport such as Dane Reynolds, Eithan Osborne and Micky Clarke. “I look up to them because they are the best,” he said. “I want to be able to do everything they do while I’m surfing.” Indeed, when Tanner paddles out everyone wants to watch because he will go for the loftiest airs and the most dynamic turns. This past weekend, he followed up the Steamer Lane victory with a runner up placing at NW stop number 2 at the Hook. He will hope to keep the momentum of his hot start going into the West Coast Regional Championships next week at Oceanside Pier! ** What do you like best about the waves at Steamer Lane? The Lane has a good right wedge off the rocks that provides a good air section and multiple turns. Age you started surfing: I started surfing when I was 5. My dad taught me everything I know to this day. Surf crew: My brother Talan, Jak Ziets and Jack Zoltan. Local spot: Ventura Harbor. Local heroes: Dane Reynolds, Eithan Osborne and Micky Clarke. I look up to them because they are the best and I want to be able to do everything they do in the water. Favorite pro surfers: Dane Reynolds because he has the best style and can do anything he wants to do when he surfs. If you could surf like anyone in the world who would it be? I would want to surf like Jack Freestone because he is super smooth and has good airs and turns. Fantasy superpower: To fly. Hobbies other than surfing: I like to skate, snowboard and ride bikes. Something people do not know about you: I skate goofy-footed and surf regular-footed. Dream wave: Snapper Rocks with no one out. Who has pushed your surfing the most? My brother Talan and my friends because we are always competing even when we are free surfing. Goals: To become a professional surfer or go to a good college. Thank yous: Thank you to my parents for always being there for me and pushing me to keep going!
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

LUKE WYLER

Age: 15
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: Tesla Academy, 9th grade, 4.25 GPA. Favorite subject: Spanish
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Dragon, Futures, Surface Sunscreen
Equipment: Rumaner Surfboards; 5'8"
Claim to Fame: After more than nine months from the originally scheduled date, the 2020 West Coast Regional Championships were a go, and the surfers were pumped to compete. Oceanside Pier was the venue and thanks to a little help from mother nature, conditions aligned on finals day as the combo swell and offshore winds turned the sandbars into a dreamy playground. Yes, there was a whole lot of excitement surrounding the long-awaited Regionals but most importantly for Luke Wyler it was his first championship win. This was a triumph of full merit for the 15-year-old from San Clemente as the Juniors division was stacked with the most talented field of U16 surfers witnessed in a very long time. From round one on, every heat could have been a final. “I was really happy to finally get my first NSSA Regional title,” Luke said. “Every heat seemed like a final in this division because there are so many crazy good kids, so I always had to be on point.” He opened the final with a strong 7.27 ride and sealed up the title with another solid 7.50. It was a breakthrough win for Luke, but the potential has been there. The road to get to this victory was a challenge with much of 2020 on contest hold. But when the 2020 National Championships was announced to run last October, Luke was ready to seize the opportunity and get back in contest mode. His impressive second place finish in the Open Juniors final at Jennette’s Pier was a sign of his maturing focus and skills. It was especially apparent in his quarterfinal heat where he needed an 8.0 score with under a minute remaining and pulled off a clutch tube ride. “I knew I had to do something big to get the score,” he said. “I saw that there was an opportunity to get barreled, so I pulled in, did not let myself fall, then came out and did another turn. The judges awarded me with a 9.00 which advanced me to the semis.” At only 15, Luke is on a path to reach the next level and his love for competition has helped soar him to the top in his age group. His strength is combo-ing things up in his heats – tail blows into roundhouses into big hacks into air reverses and then there is his barrel riding prowess. Putting the jersey on is second nature to him. “I started surfing in the NSSA when I was really young and ever since then I have always been excited to compete!” Luke’s commitment to surfing is paralleled by his commitment to his schoolwork. He is an outstanding student carrying a 4.25 GPA at Tesla Academy! ** What did you like best about the waves at Oceanside Pier? It was light offshore and clean with fun size waves. Age you started surfing: My dad taught me when I was about 3-years-old. Surf crew: Hayden Rodgers, Rex Hennings, Dane Matson, and Tyrone Fomenko. Surf coaches: Jeremy Carter and Erik Krammer. Local spot: Lowers. What is the best thing about living in San Clemente? There are so many super good surfers every time you paddle out no matter what. This helps me to keep trying to get better. Local hero: Matt Archbold is probably my favorite OG from San Clemente. Favorite pro surfer: John John Florence is my favorite at the moment because he is super well rounded. If you could surf like anyone in the world who would it be? I’d want to surf like John John because he can do it all. If you were not a competitive surfer what sport would you play? I would play baseball because that was the other sport that I loved before surfing got my full attention. Fantasy superpower: It would be cool to be invincible. Hobbies other than surfing: Snowboarding, fishing, grilling, and sleeping. Something people don't know about you: I like to grill a lot. Barrels or Airs? Getting barreled is more fun and somewhat rare for where I live. Dream wave: Some of the best waves I have ever surfed were at Thunders in the Mentawais. Who has pushed your surfing the most? My friends who I surf with always push my surfing because they surf really good. Goals for 2021: To score perfect waves on some trips. Thank yous: Thank you to my family for always supporting me!
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

WHEELER HASBURGH

Age: 15
Hometown: Encinitas, Californa
School: San Dieguito Academy: 9th grade, 4.0 GPA; Favorite subject: Math
Sponsors: Monster, Hansen's Surf Shop
Equipment: Currently riding a DHD 5’4” and 3 Xanadu boards are on order!
Claim to Fame: In undeniably his best performance since he began competing in the NSSA Mini Grom division over six years ago, Wheeler put forth a mighty effort at the 2020 West Coast Regional Championships that saw him competing in five finals and taking home his first major NSSA title in the Explorer Mens. But more than his finals appearances, what was incredibly impressive was his elevated level. Wheeler, aka “Wheels”, returned after a year absence from contests, physically bigger and stronger. Heat after heat, his surfing was lights out. Hammering powerful turns, teeing off on sections and throwing plumes of spray to the heavens, it was clear a title was knocking on the door. “I felt really strong and excited to be back in the water after a year without contests,” Wheeler said. “I spent the year pushing myself and trying new things; I focused on trusting my fundamentals and just letting it happen. But as the year went on, I realized how much I missed competing. I really felt like I had the endurance to surf in those finals.” The 15-year-old who is a 9th grader at San Dieguito Academy and carries a 4.0 GPA, has international roots which has taken him from riding waves in the frigid waters of Canada to the warm, pumping surf of Mexico. Born in the Canadian Rocky Mountains but raised in Mexico until his 6th grade school year, Wheeler was drawn to the action sports. Growing up in a region which is basically a surfer’s paradise, he started catching waves with the locals of the small village of Sayulita. On a trip to California, he competed in his first NSSA event at Seaside Reef when he was 8 years old. “I was visiting from Mexico and the Slawson family called my parents to ask if I wanted to surf in a contest,” he said. “I had to borrow a board and wetsuit from Levi. It was my first time in a wetsuit! I remember the water was so cold and the waves were pumping like I had never seen. I looked at my dad and said, ‘I don’t think I can do this’ but then I heard my name over the loudspeaker and said, ‘Ok, I gotta go.’ I think I placed last in my heat—and I was like, man, these kids are good!” Despite the first-round loss, Wheels was fired up and has been competing in the NSSA since. In addition, his Canadian heritage has allowed him to compete in Canada surfing events where he earned a berth on its Junior Surf Team with the dream of becoming an Olympian. “I have won the U18 Canadian National title twice and at the end of this month I am going to train with the team in El Salvador,” he said. “My long-term goal would be to make the Canadian Olympic Surf Team.” Circling back to the Explorer Men’s final at Regionals, Wheels opened up with a solid 6.83 and slammed the door shut with a dynamic 9.17 combo-ing the field. “I am still so stoked and surprised,” he said. “It meant so much to me holding that trophy!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT OCEANSIDE PIER? The first day was pretty grindy and offshore with some fun inside wedges but then throughout the weekend it just got better and better. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: 7 years old. I was taught by my dad and many local surfers in the village of Sayulita, Mexico. SURF CREW: The Encinitas boys and the crew at Moonlight. LOCAL SPOT: Seaside and Moonlight. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN ENCINITAS? It’s always sunny, super nice days and consistent waves where I can easily bike to the beach and surf with all of my friends. LOCAL HEROES: Rob Machado and Rusty Phillipy. They are part of the local fabric here. I’ve watched Machado in awe and Rusty has been my coach since we moved to the US. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Dane Reynolds and John John Florence. I grew up watching them and I love their style and technique. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD IT BE? Dane Reynolds — because he surfs with abandon. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Super speed so I can make any barrel section I want. HOBBIES: Snowboarding, skateboarding and basketball. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I'm 100% bilingual in Spanish and English. BARRELS OR AIRS? Barrels, nothing like getting barreled. DREAM WAVE: An A-Frame barreling wave in the middle of nowhere so my friends and I can surf all day long. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? My parents. (My mom is the most competitive person I know 😊) and my surf crew; we use each other every day but in the best way. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING: Power surfing, barrels, rails, deeper bottom turns, more vertical snaps. I’m always on my backside and I’m always trying to get my frontside closer to it. GOALS FOR 2021: To improve my surfing, strength training and travel around the world. There are a bunch of places I want to surf. THANK YOUS: Firstly, Janice and Gayline because the NSSA was the first contest I ever did at 8 years old and I have learned so much from day one. Also, my parents, friends, and coaches, Rusty Philipy and Team Canada Coach Shannon Campbell Brown for pushing me.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

BRAEDEN KOPEC

Age: 14
Hometown: Ponce Inlet, Florida
School: Florida Virtual Academy; 9th grade. Favorite subj: 4.0
Sponsors: O'Neill, Monster Energy, FCS, Nixon, Sun Bum, Channel Islands, Sticky Bumps, Cobian
Equipment: A variety of CI models including the Fever and FR2 from 5'7" to 5'9" right now.
Claim to Fame: What was supposed to be 2021 East Coast Regionals finals day on Sunday, April 11th was stopped in its tracks by a wild Florida storms bearing down on the coast bringing severe thunderstorms, lighting, and strong winds. Final’s day was postponed until Monday, April 12th. And on that day, like a completely different world, the sun came up along with a surprise ground swell producing 3-5 foot surf which set up perfectly for New Smyrna Beach. The Regionals finalists were frothing including Braeden Kopec who would be surfing for titles in four divisions. He had already competed in the High School final the day before where he placed a close second to Logan Radd. His first final on Monday would be the esteemed Open Mens, a division he was runner up in, in 2020 and a title he dreamed of winning alongside many of his east coast heroes. At 14-years, 9 months and 14 days old, he was youngest in the final. But that didn’t stop him from laying it all on the line in his backyard. He set the pace in the heat, staying busy and tearing up wave after wave with gouging hooks and an elevated rail game. With scores of 7.00 and 6.27, he locked up the championship title in what is easily the best result of his young career so far. “It was absolutely the greatest win I could achieve in any division,” Braeden said. “I started competing at NSSA Regionals when I was 7 years old. I won Open Mini Groms in 2017, the Explorer Menehuene in 2019 and had a few runner up finishes along the way including the Open Mens in 2020. Each time I was on podium I’d stare up at that banner and see so many incredible names and all I wanted was to one day make it on that banner.” In addition, Braeden etched himself in the record books becoming the youngest surfer to win the Open Mens. “It was literally one of the best days of my life and competitive career,” he said. “To be the youngest Open Mens champ and make history is just so cool. Stoked doesn’t describe how I feel. I’ve been smiling non-stop about it!” After that very emotional Open Mens victory, Braeden still had three more finals to compete in. With his coach Shea Lopez by his side from start to finish, Braeden claimed another title in Explorer Juniors, a 2nd in Explorer Mens and a 4th in Explorer Boys. “The adrenaline rush of the two wins in Open Mens and Explorer Juniors burned up a lot of energy,” he said. “I felt strong and focused going into the last two finals in Explorer Mens and Boys, but they were in back-to-back time slots and I was running on fumes. Overall, I’m super pleased with how it all turned out. Putting two more NSSA cups on the shelf is huge!” If you look at Braeden's work ethic it is second to none. He has always thrived on surfing up with the older surfers. “I like to push myself mentally and physically,” he said. “I love surfing higher level divisions and NSSA provides me that opportunity.” Through the event, he competed in six divisions, 18 heats, notched up nine heat wins and made five finals. That may seem super intense to most people. But if you asked Braeden, he would say nah, “Give me a jersey, I’m out there!”** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT NSB DURING REGIONALS? The conditions gave me the opportunity to display my ability and to show variety, a solid rail game produces solid heat totals. Waves were great through the whole event which makes the heats more of a fun free surf versus an actual heat. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: I was 2 ˝ when I first paddled out with my dad on the nose of his longboard. We would lay down and catch the wave and he would say 'Get up, stand up!' I was hooked! SURF CREW: I mostly surf with my buddies Reid and Corbin, Shea and Cory and some of the guys that have been in Ponce forever. It’s a solid crew with a lot of history and its fun for me to mentor the younger groms too. LOCAL SPOT: Two minutes from my house (shhhh). WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN PONCE? The people and consistent waves and of course no crazy cold water like up the coast. I couldn’t be more stoked about living in Ponce. When it is not “on” on this side of the inlet I can bounce over to New Smyrna. LOCAL HEROES: Having two legends like Shea and Cory in the line-up every day is epic along with guys like Dunphy, the Geiselman brothers, the Marks brothers and a long list of others. I love surfing with them and being pushed by them. When Caroline is in town its cool to see her rip. The crew here sets a good example with positive attitudes and I look up to people like that. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Jordy has such a flow in his surfing. Kolohe kills it and he was super cool and ran a man-on-man heat with me at Lowers. Medina is an amazing all-around surfer / competitor and lately I’ve been really into watching Kanoa Igarashi. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Gabriel Medina – he is the total package. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Breathe under water and time travel. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: Golf, skate, fish. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I like to free-dive. BARRELS OR AIRS? How about getting spit out of a barrel into an air! DREAM WAVE: J-Bay or Bells. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? The guys I surf with everyday are constantly pushing me whether they know it or not. And when I am not being influenced by their level of surfing, I make sure I listen when they speak. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING? I am tweaking my air game a lot. GOALS FOR 2021: Two words… Be better. WHAT ABOUT MAKING THE WORLD TOUR? Yes, that would be incredible. IS COLLEGE IN YOUR FUTURE? Yes, for sure. Definitely, a college near the water and maybe pursue studies associated with animals. THANK YOUS: My mom and dad have been really good to me! My coach Shea Lopez and my friends who are so awesome. My sponsors and the people I interact with at each of those companies --- THANK YOU!! Miss Linda Johnston for working so hard year after year bringing the contests to all of us groms. And a big special thank you to Janice for the incredible words she said about me before she handed me the Open Mens trophy – it is something I will always remember.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

LOGAN RADD

Age: 14
Hometown: Indialantic, Florida
School: Time 4 Learning Online Education; 8th grade. Favorite subject: Surfing/PE. GPA: 3.2
Sponsors: Hurley, M.T.B. Surf Emporium, Gordzilla Surfboards, Surf Dojo, Raw Elements, Igloo, Freestyle watches
Equipment: Gordzilla, squash, 5'8". Gordo makes me special boards!
Claim to Fame: Logan, who missed the past couple East Coast Regional Championships came roaring back into NSSA competition older, stronger and with a powerful, progressive approach. His first NSSA contests prior to Regionals were back-to-back Southeast Conference qualifying events and his performances at those made it evident he was going to be a title contender with his meaty backside gouges and big hammers off the lip. He was dropping 8’s and 9’s and throwing away 7’s like nobody's business. Heck he even dropped a perfect 10 in one of his finals. On to Regionals the following week and Logan continued his strong momentum. Every heat he paddled out in; you knew his focus was on winning. And that he did making all of his division finals. On what was supposed to be the final day at the 2021 East Coast Regionals, a storm came roaring into New Smyrna Beach, but the High School finals did go off and the Mens division was stacked with surfers representing Cocoa Beach and St Augustine High Schools. Logan, surfing for the Cocoa Beach team, dropped an 8.17 and 6.60 to claim his first Regional Cup and put his first title in the books. The remainder of the finals got postponed until the following day, however it was meant to be because a new swell added muscle and the surf was pumping. With his game face on, Logan paddled out in the Open Juniors final showdown and got straight to work. In a close seesaw battle, with best friend Carl Burger, Ethan Harbinson and Will Deane, he nailed the victory on his last ride of the heat dropping a solid 7.23 score and sealing his second title of the event. After his breakthrough Regionals triumphs with double titles and three finals appearances he said, "I'm totally stoked! I woke up on finals morning and said to myself, ‘I’m going to win.’ I had it in my soul.” The main driving force behind Logan’s competitive fire is Logan himself. He blazed through his heats without a coach, his winning energy and mindset was all he needed. The conditions did not even matter to him on finals day. “I didn’t care what the surf was like,” he said. “I hoped the waves were going to be good, but I said to myself, ‘no matter what, I have trained for this and I want this!’” When asking him what heats stand out the most he replied, “I can’t pick one, I tried my best in all of them. But when I got my first wave in the Juniors final, I was pumped!" Logan’s favorite surfers are a testament to his hard work ethic and dedication. He looks up to 11-time World Champ Kelly Slater, Caroline Marks and local Melbourne standout Chauncey Robinson. If he could surf like anyone in the world he named Kolohe Andino. All four of these surfers possess the gold standard of relentless drive, determination, and incredible skill levels. “Chauncey is like a brother and I have mad respect for his work ethic in and out of the water,” Logan said. “Kolohe because he is just the best. And Caroline and Kelly because they grew up surfing the same spots as I do now and if they can be as successful as they are, I hope I can too!" ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT NEW SMYRNA BEACH DURING REGIONALS? The waves were questionable, but I was able to read them and with the knowledge I have, make the best of them. I definitely found some fun ones! AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: My big brother Bailey taught me when I was around 2 years old. SURF CREW: My best friend to train with is “The Carl Burger”. Also, my best friends Riley Kralik and Curren Maxson. LOCAL SPOT: RC’s, Perkins and Mobile in Indialantic. LOCAL HEROES: Chauncey Robinson because he is like a brother and I have mad respect for him in and out of the water. And Kelly Slater because I want to be just like him! FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Caroline Marks, Chauncey Robinson and Kelly Slater because they grew up surfing my same local spots. I feel if they can be successful coming from here, then I can. That is my goal. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Kolohe Andino because he is the best. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Definitely to be an Iron Man. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: I love fishing and golf. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I’m shy! BARRELS OR AIRS? Airs all day, every day! DREAM WAVE: Hawaii. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? My big brother Bailey because he is an awesome surfer. I am more powerful in the water but he kicks my butt out of the water. He is bigger and stronger on land but I beat him every time in the waves and that is fun! THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING? Airs, airs and airs! Full rotations. I am also working on being aggressive and confident in my skills – speed, power and flow. GOALS FOR 2021: To be the best person I can be, in and out of the water. IS ONE OF YOUR GOALS TO GO ON THE WQS AND MAKE THE WORLD TOUR? Absolutely, but I know I have to have other goals too. IS COLLEGE IN YOUR FUTURE? School is not always easy for me but I do my best. I definitely want to go to college. I think I would like to study marketing and stay in the surfing field. THANK YOUS: I want to thank God! Proverbs 3: 5-6. My Mom and Dad, my aggressive brother Bailey for keeping me in check and my sister Tingy. My MAN Bobo my favorite dog and Wittie and Beans. Also my grandma ReeRee for always saying that I am right!
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

TREVOR BERRY

Age: 17
Hometown: Ventura, California
School: El Camino High School; 12th grade. GPA: 3.5. Favorite subject: Business
Sponsors: Katin USA, Xcel Wetsuits, Dragon Eyewear, Channel Islands Surfboards, Pro-Lite, Futures Fins, and Revolution Surf Shop
Equipment: Channel Islands Fever Stab/Remix, 5'9" custom shaped by Britt Merrick
Claim to Fame: Opening weekend of the 20/21 Southwest Conference Open Season, early south swell marching into the southern California coastline, heaps of frothing surfers pumped to get back in the jersey and we knew it was on! Solid 3–6 foot surf at the Ventura Harbor contest venue, mostly lefts and an array of conditions ranging from glassy to victory at sea were the order of the weekend. Power surfing, versatility and smart heat strategies were key to advancing through heats. After locking up his breakthrough victory at the 2020 West Coast Regional Championships this past February, Trevor seemed to have found a new boost of confidence along with a more powerful approach. It showed at the Ventura Open where he advanced to the highly competitive Open Mens final. And in that final, he applied his years of local knowledge and put himself on the best waves. He opened up with a solid 6.67 ride and then found a steep lefthander and demolished it, hammering one big backside hook after another which earned an excellent 8.33 score and put him in the lead for good. “The waves were so good and the long left set waves allowed everyone to open up and show their talent,” Trevor said. “This is my third year doing the Open Season and to finally get my first Open win feels super good, especially at my home break!” Trevor has spent all of his youth years in the NSSA, initially honing his contest skills in the Gold Coast Explorer before stepping up into the more aggressive Open events. “I remember my first NSSA contest was in the Gold Coast when I was around 10 years old,” he said. “I competed in the Super Grom division at Ventura Point and I made the final and couldn't believe that I was going to get my first surf trophy. I slept right next to my trophy for months!” For the next seven years, he grinded through events, steadily improving his skills and hired on seasoned coach Mike Lamm who brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to the table. When Covid put everything on hold in early 2020 and contests came to a screeching halt for nearly a year, Trevor used the break working and training even harder, surfing a few times per day and focused on his technique. His first contest back, the 2020 Regionals, proved to be his breakout performance where he claimed his first championship title in the U18 Explorer Juniors division. “It was my first contest back after Covid and I had been surfing a lot, so once I found out it was on, I said to myself, this is it!” he said. “I can't wait to see my name on the banner. I am sure every grom has that goal!” Following up his triumph at Regionals with the Open Mens win at the season opener and then a 3rd place at the USA Surfing Prime at T Street, Trevor has solidified the fact that he is one of the most promising under 18 surfers on the west coast. “Winning the Regionals and then the first Open makes me feel like things are coming together,” he said. “My family has taught me that hard work pays off and I am finding out that this is totally true!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT VENTURA HARBOR? I loved the consistent left set waves off the jetty, allowing for huge score opportunities! AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: I was 6. I would stand up on my boogie board in the white water and when I was feeling really brave, ride on the nose of my dad's longboard with him. SURF CREW: Jabe Swierkocki (when his leg isn't broken), Dimitri Poulos, Jak Ziets, Tanner Vodraska, and the rest of the local groms in Ventura. LOCAL SPOT: Ventura Harbor! WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN VENTURA? It is just a really cool small town where everyone knows each other. Rarely will I ever paddle out to the lineup without not knowing anyone. LOCAL HEROES: Mike McCabe, Cory Arrambide, Kellen Ellison, Nathaniel Curran, and Dane Reynolds. As I was growing up surfing in Ventura, I couldn't believe how good all these guys were and was always so stoked on how cool they were to me. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Mick Fanning for his crazy good, technical style and power surfing. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? A mix of Tom Curren for his style and flow and Dane Reynolds for his power and critical maneuvers. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Automatically know how every spot is when I wake up. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: Golfing, fishing, off-roading, and camping. IF YOU WERE NOT A COMPETITIVE SURFER WHAT SPORT WOULD YOU PLAY? Football for sure. Before I started surfing competitively, I was actually somewhat decent at it. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: Last summer I worked two jobs to save enough money to focus on my surfing all winter and travel. BARRELS OR AIRS? Barrels. DREAM WAVE: Salina Cruz on a pumping swell. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? All my friends I surf with because we are always trying to out-do each other in the water. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING: Power! GOALS FOR 2021: Travel since things are opening back up. I want to get some super sick content!. THANK YOUS: My parents for their support, Dale Rhodes for always being a positive influence in my life and taking me to Nicaragua for a dream trip I will always remember. And my coach Mike Lamm for working with me to increase my level and help with good contest strategy!
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

MAX ST. DENIS

Age: 12
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
School: Aptos Jr. High, 7th grade. GPA: 3.8. Favorite subeject: History subject:
Sponsors: O'Neill USA, O'Neill Surf Shop
Equipment: Slater Designs Sci Fi 2.0 4’11”
Claim to Fame: It was another big week of NSSA action on the May 15-16 weekend where the 20/21 Gold Coast Conference Explorer Season opener was held at Ventura’s C Street “Pipe” surf break. Pipe is predominately a right hander breaking on a cobblestone reef with some good lefts sneaking through. A whole slew of groms scored some great results in the doubleheader including young Santa Cruz shredder Max St. Denis. The 12-year-old goofyfooter has been showing tremendous promise competing in the Northwest Conference the past few years but this season his skill level goes up a notch every time he puts on the jersey. His NSSA journey started at the close of the 2017/18 NW season where he competed in the Explorer Super Grom 10 & under and Menehuene 12 & under divisions. “My first contest was at Pleasure Point, I was nine, and I did both 12U Menehuene and 10U Super Grom division,” Max said. “I think I was put out in the first round in both. I had fun though, there was a good vibe.” The following 2018/19 season Max was back and at 10-years-old he was at the top of the age bracket in the Open Mini Grom and Explorer Super Grom divisions. And as he did at his very first contest the season before, Max tested his skills in the upper age 12 & under categories. He leaped to the top of the Northwest Mini Grom and Super Grom divisions winning four contests and taking both season titles. Fast forward to the 2020/21 season and Max has been keeping busy competing in NSSA events up and down the coast and his performances are turning heads. It started this past February when the west coast events were back after a year of contest shutdowns. The Northwest Conference was up and running and Max dusted the cobwebs off, shifted into contest mode and took home impressive double wins in the highly competitive Open Juniors U16 and Explorer Boys U15 divisions at Steamer Lane. To stay sharp and improve contest skills, he has opted to travel down south for more practice and the work is paying off. At the Gold Coast competing in back-to-back contests, Max took command winning both events in the Menehuene division while also making both finals in the Explorer Boys. In the Boys semis he set the heat on fire dropping a massive heat total of 17.67 on wave scores of 9.50 and 8.17. “In the Boys semi-final heat, the waves turned on and I was just in tune with the ocean,” he said. “I got some really fun waves.” Max’s growing level has been fostered by former NSSA standout and Santa Cruz-based professional surfer Austin Smith-Ford and trainer Andre Gioranelli. “Austin has been a great coach,” Max said. “I have been working with him for about a year and a half. I also do group training and workouts with Andre.” Even though contests can be challenging and success rewarding, Max is just enjoying being back in the jersey. “My favorite thing about these contests is we get to surf with no one out in the line up and we get to compete and have fun with friends!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT C STREET? I liked that it is a righthand point break. We have a lot of those in Santa Cruz, and it felt similar to home. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: I was around 6 years old when I first started surfing, popping up on a boogie board. Then my dad took me out to Capitola after Junior Guards and he pushed me into some waves. SURF CREW: I usually just paddle out to my local break and see a bunch of my friends, so the Pleasure Point crew. LOCAL SPOT: Pleasure Point and the Hook. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN SANTA CRUZ? Having a cool community and having a variety of different spots to surf. LOCAL HEROES: There are so many surfers from Santa Cruz that I look up to, Austin Smith-Ford, Nat Young, Darryl Virostko. I look up to these guys because they inspire my surfing, and to work hard. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Ryan Callinan, Julian Wilson, and Matt Meola because Ryan is goofy, and has a sick style, Julian is smooth and a good contest surfer, and Matt is just insane with his airs. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Taj Burrow, because he ticks all the boxes, and he has a good style too. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Knowing where the waves are good and when they will be, and to be able teleport to them. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: I like to read, draw, and listen to music. IF YOU WERE NOT A COMPETITIVE SURFER WHAT SPORT WOULD YOU PLAY? I would be a baseball player, because I love playing baseball, it was the first sport I got into. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I don’t really like chocolate. BARRELS OR AIRS? Both, but airs. DREAM WAVE: Macaronis. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? My peers, because if I see them do a sick maneuver I’m like, I need to do one better. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING: I am working on getting more radical, and surfing on my frontside. GOALS FOR 2021: To continue to have fun in my surfing, and to keep progressing. THANK YOUS: My Mom and Dad, my sponsors, Austin Smith-Ford and Andre Gioranelli.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

KYAN YANG

Age: 16
Hometown: ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA
School: La Costa Canyon High School, 10th grade. GPA: 3.8. Favorite subject: ASL (American Sign Language)
Sponsors: Vans, Sharpeye Surfboards, Sun Diego Boardshops, Isurus Wetsuits, Octopus accessories
Equipment: 5’5" HT2 by Sharpeye
Claim to Fame: Kyan Yang made it back-to-back wins at the Explorer doubleheader events 3 and 4 held at the Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach on June 5-6. The surf was fun and rippable with HB’s typical afternoon onshores which made for good air conditions. The 16-year-old from Encinitas took advantage and blew the competition out of the water in the event 3 final basically turning his heat into an aerial highlight reel. He took to the sky with two spectacular airs, the first of them dropping an 8.83 and then the second one a near perfect 9.83 score which put his three opponents in a combination situation. That 9.83 was a frontside full rotation, stomped so perfectly he made it look effortless. Kyan’s progressive display stole the show with the crowd on the beach erupting into applause and cheers. “I was in a nice rhythm and pace in that heat,” Kyan said. “The waves were also super fun with ramps everywhere!” The following day in event 4, Kyan stayed on a hot streak, winning all his preliminary rounds and was back in the final. With the swell dropping and conditions a little trickier than the prior day, he heeded the simple but wise strategy from his parents who were in his corner the entire event “find your 2!” He did just that opening up his account with a solid 7.33 ride, which ended up being the highest wave score of the final. He backed it up with a 4.60 to seal his dominant run at Goldenwest Street. The double triumphs which were Kyan’s first wins in a NSSA jersey, will propel him up into the top five of the ratings. He is also in his first season in the premier Open Mens division where he is currently ranked 10th. While Kyan’s skills are rapidly improving as he continues to push his level and innovate his surfing, he remains uncommitted about his pursuit of a professional career. “I’m not totally sure at the moment,” he said. “I just want to keep working hard and enjoying myself!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES AT GOLDENWEST STREET? You can always find a fun ramp! AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: My dad started getting me into it when I was 11-years-old. SURF CREW: My brother Kaylib, my dad, Alec Kauffman and Cayden Morahan. COACH: Ryan Simmons. LOCAL SPOT: GV. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN ENCINITAS? There are always waves to surf! LOCAL HEROES: The Marshall brothers and Levi Slawson because they rip and always inspire me. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Kanoa Igarashi because his progression and variety are insane. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? No one because I want to stay unique. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: Invisibility. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: Skateboarding. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I’m actually a decent cook. BARRELS OR AIRS? Barrels. DREAM WAVE: Keramas. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST?. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON: Full rotations and combos. GOALS FOR 2021: Progress my surfing and keep having fun. THANK YOUS: Mom, Dad and Gia.
 

Surfer of the Week - 7/26/2021

BELLA KENWORTHY

Age: 14
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: Cabrillo Point Academy; 8th grade. Favorite subject: English
Sponsors: Vans, Sunbum, Dakine, Jacks, Sex Wax
Equipment: CI Happy2 5'3"
Claim to Fame: The Southwest Conference was back in Surf City for Open event number 4 held on the famed southside of the HB pier. Bella surfed through two divisions – Open Women and Girls - winning every heat in consistent chest to head high peaky conditions. The three-time Regional Champion capitalized on the fun lefts and rights unleashing off the lips, smooth carves and cuttys to seal the double victories in dominant fashion. “I loved how peaky the waves were,” said Bella who improved her 2020/21 season win record to six – three each in both divisions. She has been on an absolute tear, unstoppable in Open competition considering the fact she has placed first in every single heat. The 14-year-old, whose full name is Bellatreas meaning “beautiful treasure” started going by her nickname Bella because “no one could pronounce my name right,” she said. Competing through the years on southside, Bella has become very accustomed to HB’s renowned assortment of conditions and reads the waves extremely well. In fact, her very first NSSA contest was on southside. “My first NSSA event was in the Super Girls division on the southside of HB Pier,” she said. “I was 10-years-old and made the final.” On the progressive end, Bella is at the forefront of the new wave of young female innovative surfers. She is coached by her dad Jason, who is a huge advocate of aerial surfing. He puts a premium on her progressive skills while also honing her fundamentals. Bella is one of the most fun surfers to watch in heats not because she always puts on a good show, but you never know what she will attempt. She continues to work on her above-the-lip maneuvers and combined with her skate background, it is only a matter of time when she will pull off the big one. She has one National title under her belt, three Regional titles, is a member of the USA Junior National Surf Team and has racked up a phenomenal share of heat wins and contest victories over the years. With the standard of women’s surfing on the rise, Bella is in pursuit of pushing her limits, elevating her competitive game, and reaching the top of the podium so putting on the jersey is essential. “I love surfing NSSA contests because they make my surfing better and push me to do my best,” she said. “My goal is to finish up the season strong and win both the Regionals and the Nationals!” ** WHAT DID YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT THE WAVES ON SOUTHSIDE? There were a lot of waves and I loved how peaky it was. AGE YOU STARTED SURFING: My dad taught me when I was 5-years-old. SURF CREW: My brothers Loyal and Waylon, my sister Peeta and my friends who I am currently surfing with in Nicaragua – Izzy Gomez, Caity Simmers and Maddie Stanton. LOCAL SPOT: Lowers. LOCAL HEROES: Kolohe because he rips and is so supportive of the up-and-coming surfers. FAVORITE PRO SURFERS: Carissa Moore because of her overall surfing and how nice she is, Italo because of his airs and John John’s power turns. IF YOU COULD SURF LIKE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Italo, because I could just make anything and go super-fast. IF YOU COULD GET A WILD CARD IN ANY WSL EVENT, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU PICK: Snapper or Honolua Bay because they are perfect rights. FANTASY SUPERPOWER: To breathe underwater or teleport. HOBBIES OTHER THAN SURFING: Skating, deep end fitness and baking. SOMETHING PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: That my full name is Bellatreas. I started going by Bella because no one could pronounce my name right. BARRELS OR AIRS? Both. DREAM WAVE: A right that starts off with a barrel, then one turn and ends with a perfect air section. WHO HAS PUSHED YOUR SURFING THE MOST? Definitely my brother and everyone I compete with because they push me to be better. THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON IN YOUR SURFING? My airs and having more power. GOALS FOR 2021 REGIONALS AND NATIONALS: To take the wins in both. THANK YOUS: My parents and sponsors for all the support.
 


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