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By Andrea Swayne
Riley Branom, 13, of Dana Point, learned to surf five years ago from his dad and has continued to practice and progress. This year he is competing in his second Western Surfing Association Championship Tour season and has just begun his first year of Scholastic Surf Series events as part of the Marco Forster Middle School surf team. We caught up with this talented eighth-grade longboarder after his first SSS event of the season to get to know him a bit better. Here is what he had to say on a variety of subjects:
Practice: At least three times a week.
Current focus: Noseriding.
Favorite break: Doheny.
Competition: Winning feels good and it’s really fun to go to good spots that are usually crowded and surf with only a few other people. It’s also great practice. Because of the time limit you sometimes do stuff on waves that you normally wouldn’t and then find out that you can do it.
Farthest travel in search of waves: Oregon and Pismo Beach, but I really want to go to Hawaii and Fiji.
School: I’m bored with middle school. I’m ready to go to high school. You get a block schedule and more classes to choose from.
Other sports: Skateboarding and bodyboarding at Salt Creek.
Fave grinds: Tacos—my dad’s tacos. I don’t like my mom’s tacos but I really like that she drives me to the beach all the time.
Sponsors: Hobie. I’ve been on the Hobie Warehouse Team for about a year.
Board: I ride a 9’ 6” Hobie custom, shaped by Gary Larson. It’s super-fast and the rails are sharp so it turns really well.
Going pro: I just want to have fun surfing for as long as I can.
Surfing: I love surfing because I like having fun out in the water and it makes me feel great. It’s not like anything else; I can’t describe it. It’s just super fun and getting barreled is the best feeling ever.