By Andrea Swayne
Age: 9, Concordia Elementary
At 9 years old, San Clemente’s Dax McPhillips has been surfing for seven years and is already well on his way to becoming a versatile and accomplished waterman.
He rode his first waves on the nose of his dad’s surfboard at the age of two and was getting pushed into waves by three. His stand-up paddle contest successes include winning the 10U division at last year’s Battle of the Paddle and coming in third place in the open division.
This year’s Battle will be his fourth. Adept in outrigger canoeing, Dax recently won the 10-mile open division race at the Quiksilver Ta-Hoe Nalu in Lake Tahoe as part of a six-man outrigger canoe team that included his brother Kai, dad Colin (three-time world longboard champion and professional SUP surfer) and Byron Kurt, another local SUP pro.
Dax also competed in the four-mile open race on a SUP and took fifth. This season he has committed to surf the full WSA Championship Tour and started his campaign with a third-place finish in the U10 shortboard division this month at the season’s first event at San Onofre Trail 6.
“I thought the WSA was cool because there were so many people cheering everyone on,” Dax said.
“It was pretty challenging but fun to compete with so many of my friends.” Dax credits his close family as being his inspiration. “I’d like to thank my parents, grandparents and brother for always being there for me and Hobie Surfboards and Cole Surfboards for my great equipment.”