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By Andrea Swayne
New to competition surfing this season, shortboarder Ezra McPhillips, 8, of San Clemente had a great showing Sunday in Ventura at event No. 2 of the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour, winning a third-place trophy in the Micro Grom Girls U10 division.
She started as a 3-year-old surfing tandem with her dad, pro surfer Colin McPhillips, and has since looked to him and her brothers, also competitive surfers, for guidance and coaching.
In her first year on the amateur tour, and able to catch her own waves, Ezra said she is happy to have her dad in the water with her as part of the WSA’s push-in divisions because she sees it as a great way to get her competition game down.
“He helps me get on good waves and tells me when I’m doing something wrong,” she said. “What I’m working on now is projecting down the line and catching good waves on my own.”
Ezra has been practicing as much as possible, she said, mostly at San O, her favorite break, as well as enjoying her closest home breaks.
“We live by Lasuens and T Street so we get to go to the beach a lot and I get to surf a lot,” she said. “I’ve been practicing and trying really hard.”
Ezra also enjoys school and is excited about having started the third grade this year at Concordia Elementary. Her favorite subjects are art and math.
Art is also an interest she pursues outside of school as a hobby. She enjoys playing soccer as well, although surfing is her favorite sport.
“I like surfing because going really fast is fun and being in the ocean with my friends just feels really good,” Ezra said. “I like being a surfer and surfing in the WSA because it’s fun and challenging and you get to surf with your friends and stuff.”