By Andrea Swayne
Age: 10, Palisades Elementary
Zoe Mortensen of Capistrano Beach rode her very first waves with her dad on his surfboard at the age of two. Although she doesn’t really remember those very first rides, she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t surfing. “I stood up for the first time when I was three and I definitely remember that!” she said. Zoe has been a shortboarder from the start, because longboarding “just doesn’t feel as comfortable” to her. This summer Zoe took third-place at the Ocean Festival Groms Rule Contest. She is also off to a good start in the WSA this season with a semi-final run in the first event, a fifth-place finish in Ventura last month and a No. 6 ranking in Girls U12. Zoe is a straight-A student who especially enjoys science class and playing the violin. School is a priority but this active fifth-grader makes time for surfing at least three to four times a week. Zoe says she would, of course, like to have a pro surfing career one day but she also wants to be a veterinarian. “I love animals so much and I started owning pets when I started surfing, so both are a big part of my life,” she said. Her other interests include a passion for fashion. “Surfing is what I do most but I have some shopping in me too,” Zoe said. “I really like hitting the malls because I’m pretty into fashion.” Zoe is looking forward to surfing Snapper Rocks and Kirra in Australia this winter with her family.