By Andrea Swayne
Age: 13, Shorecliffs Middle School
Bethany Zelasko of Dana Point can be found with a smile on her face nearly every day at her home break, Salt Creek.Even the recent cold weather did not dampen her desire to start her day with a practice session.
On one of this winter’s coldest mornings—34 degrees—Bethany made one of her warmest surf memories. In chilly 55-degree water, she got barreled and the thrill of the moment erased every thought of discomfort, she said.
Bethany is looking forward to trying out for the Dana Hills High School surf team in a few years and hoping to qualify for the Surfing America Prime Series.
“I see the high school team out there every Tuesday at Salt Creek and can’t wait to have the chance to be a part of it,” Bethany said.
Until then, she will continue working on her competition surfing skills in the SSS and WSA—where she is ranked No. 11 and No. 10 respectively—and as a member of the Soul Surf Team.
Bethany is an ‘A’ and ‘B’ student in the GATE program and her favorite class is video production.
Faith is an important part of her life. She has wanted to become a missionary since the age of four and is now hoping to combine that desire with a future pro surfing career.
“I’ve always liked being in the ocean and think surfing is going to be my thing for life,” she said. “I’ve also always been a Bible scholar and really feel that it’s my calling to use surfing as a missionary to spread the gospel.”