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By Jake Howard

This winter, if you’ve wanted to surf, you’ve had to hit the road. Waves have certainly not been easy to come by, but like any surfer worth their salt, 14-year Avery McDonald relishes a good jaunt up Highway 1.

Last weekend, McDonald cruised up to Santa Cruz, where there were 4- to 6-foot waves with offshore winds, and there just so happened to be an NSSA event going on at Steamer Lane. Acclimating to the cold water and stellar conditions straight away, the hard-charging regular-footer proceeded to rip her way to a second-place finish in the Explorer Girls Division (14-and-under).

Avery McDonald. Photo: Courtesy of @ryanell_

With its high cliffs and vocal surf fans, the setting at Steamer Lane has a bit of a stadium vibe and can be an intimidating place to compete for the non-locals, which makes success there all the more validating.

A graceful, stylish surfer, McDonald, who appeared in the Rip Curl GromSearch National Finals, was on a good run near the end of 2021, and she has clearly carried that momentum into the New Year.

We can’t wait to see where 2022 takes her and the rest of the groms in the San Clemente and Dana Point zone.

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