I grew up in Santa Cruz doing Junior Lifeguards and surfing. My Dad, Ward, shapes surfboards and my whole family surfs so ever since I was a little kid my life revolved around the beach and the ocean. When I was 17 I was selected to go to France and compete for the USA Lifesaving Youth team in the International Surf Rescue Challenge. The event had kids from all over the world there to compete, from Germany to New Zealand to Sri Lanka. Prior to being selected to go I hadn’t seen paddle as something more than a fun event at our local JG competitions and the once a year I’d go down to JG Regionals. But after being selected and going to France I realized there was a lot more out there. Being able to meet so many kids my age from all around the world was such a cool experience and really got the travel bug buzzing in me.
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