By Andrea Swayne
Alex Economos, 11, of San Clemente, became interested in surfing after watching her two brothers, and along with her twin sister Nicole, decided to learn. Devoted to practicing as much as possible and working with a coach, her skills have come a long way in the year and a half since she started. And after competing in a few Soul Surf Series events and discovering a love for contest surfing, she has decided to join her brothers in the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour this season.
“I really like the vibe at WSA events,” she said at the WSA season opener earlier this month. “It’s really fun hanging out on the beach cheering people on, watching everyone and learning. There is some really good competition and I am going to face some pretty good girls this year.”
Now that she’s fully caught the surfing bug, Alex hopes to earn a spot on the Shorecliffs Middle School surf team where she will be starting sixth grade in a few weeks. She also has developed a new-found interest in pursuing a pro surfing career.
“I am hoping to go pro someday, but not if it interferes with having a family,” she said. “I also think being a baker would be fun. I really like baking, cupcakes especially, and making cool designs with the frosting.”
Doing well in school is another priority for Alex, having worked hard through the elementary grades earning top marks and enjoying her studies.
“It’s important to work hard and do well in school because it really helps you in life,” she said. “With a good education you can get a good job, raise a family and take them places and learn new things. I’d also like to go to college at UC Santa Cruz.”
She feels the same about balancing hard work with fun when it comes to surfing as well.
“Even though I’m not the best in contests, I still think it’s fun and I like learning from my mistakes,” she said. “Contests build my confidence and help me progress. I really love surfing because no one’s there telling you what to do. You choose your wave and decide what to do on it. It’s not like in dance or gymnastics where you have specific moves and a specialized routine. I like the freedom of it. It’s difficult but really fun.”