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By Jake Howard
It’s pretty common for kids around here to learn to surf at a young age, but 2 years old? That’s when San Clemente’s Hana Bakker first jumped on a board at Doheny, and it’s been nothing but good times ever since.
“Surfing inspires me, because surfing is a sport that a lot of people can enjoy, no matter how old or where you came from,” says Bakker, a sixth-grader at Shorecliffs Middle School.
Celebrating her Japanese heritage, it’s her mom that really motivates her.
“I look up to my mom, because she was a National Champion of Japan, and she always helps me be a better surfer and person in general,” Hana says.
These days, you’ll probably find Bakker shredding down at T-Street or Trestles. Besides her mom, she also looks up to soon-to-be Olympian Caroline Marks and rising star Sawyer Lindblad.
“They always rip, and I’m always happy to see them in the water,” she explains.
As far as where she thinks surfing can take her, Bakker’s got those surf-stoked dreams.
“I want to be a professional surfer and help my mom’s business. She is a surf instructor and surf guide,” Hana says.
Considering that she’s only 12 and has already been surfing for a decade, the sky’s the limit for Bakker.