By Erin Hawkins

Elle Emery is a Dana Point native who has been surfing since she was 6 years old. Now at age 12, she said she surfs every day before or after school with a genuine love for the sport and enthusiasm for competition.

The first time Elle started surfing was at a friend’s birthday party at Doheny State Beach.

“I loved it and wanted to keep going out” Elle said.

She said she usually surfs at Salt Creek and San Onofre, and loves to ride Infinity Surfboards.

Last year was Elle’s first year competing in the Western Surfing Association (WSA) and was ranked No. 8 in the Girls U14 Division for the Salt Life Championship Tour Series 2015-2016. Her younger brother, Callan Emery, also competes in the WSA in the Boys U12 Division.

Elle also competed in the Scholastic Surf Series (SSS), an addition of the WSA for middle and high school surf teams from San Diego to Santa Barbara. She competed in the Orange County Middle School Division 1 Women’s Shortboard, where she also finished in the No. 8 spot.

One of Elle’s favorite aspects of competing is having the opportunity to surf with her friends.

She took first place in June at the Menehune surf competition at Doheney, and recently earned her first perfect 10 during a semi-final heat at the WSA contest at San Onofre Trail 6 last weekend.

Elle said her favorite pro surfers are Lakey Peterson for her style, and Courtney Conlogue for her powerful turns, but the surfer she looks up to the most is Bethany Hamilton.

This year, she will be going into seventh grade at Marco Forster Middle School.

Her favorite subject to study is science, and she loves to do art in her free time.

“I like science because you get to learn about the outdoors, and I love art because when I’m not surfing I like to paint and draw all kinds of things,” Elle said.

In the future, Elle said she hopes to compete in the National Scholastic Surfing Association, as well as finish in the top 5 of the WSA and SSS so she can qualify for independent physical education credit at school.

Elle said if she could travel anywhere to surf it would be Costa Rica or Indonesia.

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