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By Jake Howard

“To me, surfing doesn’t involve everything competitive,” said 12-year-old Shay Diamond. “I mean, I love contests, but free surfing with your friends and family is the best thing I could ever ask for.”

A seventh-grader at Marco Forster Middle School, Diamond is a third-generation Dana Point surfer. Her father, Eric, is the president of the Dana Point Surf Club, and her late grandfather was a distinguished member of the historic Dana Point Mafia and a one-time roommate with legendary surf photographer Ron Stoner.

“I learned to surf at Doheny about five years ago,” Shay said. “These days, I am mostly surfing San Onofre, Doheny and Salt Creek.”

While Shay is enjoying some competitive experiences, just like her old man, she’s growing up to be quite the soul surfer.

“My favorite thing about surfing would be the feeling you get on a wave,” Shay said. “It leaves the every-day problems behind.”

And as far as what inspires her? Shay’s priorities are in perfect trim.

“It’s not about being in competition mode, but it’s about happiness and love and getting back what you put into it,” she said.

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