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By Andrea Swayne
Age: 11, Shorecliffs Middle School
Hayden Millerick has been surfing seriously for four years, since moving to San Clemente, and in that time has become a contender among his age group in surf competition.
“When I was four my dad pushed me into tiny little runners on the beach,” Hayden said. “I just kept doing it because it’s challenging and really fun.”
He competes in the WSA, Soul Surf Series, Stoke-O-Rama and the SSS as a member of his school surf team. His other hobbies include skateboarding and playing kendama—for fun and hand-eye coordination, he said. Hayden would like to become a pro surfer or a fireman, like his dad. Family support makes surfing especially fun.
“My mom and dad come to all of my contests and take me to the beach,” he said. “My three sisters are very supportive too.”
Hayden is a studious sixth-grader who works hard in school. “I get ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ because if I get ‘Cs’ I can’t surf, so I take it pretty seriously,” Hayden said. “I try hard to get good grades because my parents will take away my surfboard and my kendama if I don’t. If I do, they take me to better surf spots.”
The hard work is worth it, he said, because the better he does, the better breaks he gets to surf. Surfers he admires include Jordy Smith, for his speed; John John Florence, for stylish carves; and his dad, because “he’s got style.” Hayden’s favorite thing about surfing: “Getting the barrel vision.”