I started surfing in Santa Cruz at 8 years old. I always knew I loved the water whether it was the pool or the ocean. I wanted to surf after hearing my dad tell me stories about the waves when he came home after surfing. I had my first lesson in Santa Cruz and I was able to stand up on my first wave. I was hooked. My dad and I have surfed together ever since, him coaching my every wave helping me improve in and out of the water. Soon after learning how to surf I started in the Santa Cruz Jr lifeguard program. I have been in the program the last 5 years and have competed at the California regionals the last two. The Jr lifeguard program really fostered my love of the ocean. I found that paddling is my specialty. I was lucky enough to be introduced to distance paddling by a local Surftech shop. Being in the water is where I feel most at home. I work hard every time I go surfing because I know every wave counts.
This last year has been packed with many events. I completed the Long Strange Trip in San Francisco (13 mi), the West Cliff Challenge and Pier to Pier as a prone paddler. I finished 3rd overall in shortboarding and 5th overall in longboarding in the Santa Cruz junior high surf league. My biggest challenge I faced this year was the back surgery I had for Scoliosis. My back was fused from T4 to L3 with 20 screws and 2 rods attached to my spine. I have lost some movement in my back, but was back in the water 6 weeks after surgery. My first time back into the ocean after surgery was a distance prone paddle to the mile buey. After that day, I knew I would overcome this bump in road and that I would make it through. It motivated me to work harder at what I knew was important to me, surfing. Three months after surgery I went on to take 4th in the distance paddle at the JG regionals.
I look forward to competing again this year surfing and I intend to paddle the Long Strange Trip, the Jay Race and I am hoping to one day complete the M2O.