By Andrea Swayne
Grom of the Week: Dawson Tarnowski
Age: 15, San Clemente
Dawson Tarnowski moved to San Clemente from Vero Beach, Fla. in September and has never looked back.
“We had a terrible winter with no waves last year and I told my mom we needed to move to California,” Dawson said. “She fell in love with the city and my dad is an artist and can work from home, so it worked out well.”
Seeing Dawson’s level of commitment to the sport of surfing also played a big factor in his parents’ decision to move.
“When I was younger I jumped from sport to sport but after learning to surf, I wanted to do it every day,” he said.
Dawson is committed to working toward a future professional surfing career and feels the move to San Clemente has put him right where he needs to be.
“Even when it’s small here you can go out and catch something,” he said. “And there are so many great surfers it pushes me to get better.”
In school, Dawson is a homeschooled ninth-grader earning ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades.
“I love the freedom homeschooling gives me,” he said. “I like that I can work ahead to free up more time for surfing.”
Aside from spending more time in the lineup, he credits his parents with his success, both present and future.
“When I’m tired or frustrated they encourage me, help me get focused and stay focused,” Dawson said. “They’ve been an absolutely huge source of support, including moving for me. They are really great parents and I’m super thankful for them.”