By Andrea Swayne
Age: 5, Concordia Elementary
Makai Bray is the youngest surfer—along with his twin brother Maddox—in the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour this season. As a competitor in the Boys/Girls U9 Micro Grom Push-in division, Makai depends on his dad Jimmy Bray for coaching in the lineup and help with catching waves. Once he’s on a wave, he works hard to show the judges how his practice is paying off. Then he eagerly hops back on his board and paddles to his dad, to catch another one. He likes to surf in contests because, he said, “It’s fun. That’s it.” With six contests left in the regular season, Makai is currently the No. 16 ranked surfer among the field of 27 in his division and says he thinks he will “definitely” be able to qualify for the West Coast Championships in April. Between heats Makai enjoys hanging out near the beach marshal and commentating on the competition going on in the water. He especially likes watching his dad—who also competes in the WSA—and giving a play-by-play critique of his waves. Makai is an avid skateboarder who can also be seen practicing his ollies and other tricks to pass the time between heats. His other hobbies include playing AYSO soccer, riding his bike and watching movies. Makai had his first ever contest win at the Cardiff Surf Classic on October 27, taking the top spot in the 6 and Under division.