SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Andrea Swayne
Joey Madison, 11, is a sixth-grader at Shorecliffs Middle School. He not only competes in Scholastic Surf Series events as part of his school team, he also surfs in the Volcom VQS, Soul Surf Series and the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour.
Joey started surfing at the age of 8, because his mom surfs and he saw how much fun it looked when watching her and others.
“I asked my mom if I could get a surf coach and she said, ‘yes,’” Joey said. “I got Rick Yeomans for about a year and then I got Andy Fomenko. He’s still my coach. My mom gives me pointers too.”
In school, he is an A and B student who enjoys learning to speak Spanish under the tutelage of his favorite teacher, Señor Hennings (Dave Hennings) who is also his team surf coach.
“He’s nice, funny, good at drawing, a good surfer, a really good skateboarder and he’s my favorite teacher, for sure,” Joey said. “At school I listen to my teachers, I’m not rude and I do my homework every day after school before I go surf. Or I’ll do it at school, so I can go surfing sooner.”
One of the things Joey most loves about being a surfer is getting to wake up early every morning and be in the ocean, and the speed of riding a wave.
“It’s kind of like going super fast in a car or something,” he said, “except you’re on fiberglass, and standing up.”
Joey has dreams of someday being a pro surfer on the World Tour and practices every day in pursuit of that goal.
“I want to go pro so I can travel and surf different waves, breaks, barrels,” he said. “Right now I’m really working on bottom turns, trying to generate speed to hit the lip harder and make the most out of the wave.”
He would also like to be a water photographer when he grows up. His other interests include skateboarding and “doing projects like building stuff or making art.”
Joey’s favorite pro surfers are Kolohe Andino, because “he’s a really good surfer and inspiring,” and Jamie O’Brien, because “he’s really funny, does board transfers and charges Pipeline on soft tops.”
He said he owes much of his surfing success to his family, teachers, coaches and friends.
“I really want to thank my mom and dad for supporting me, taking me to the beach every day, twice a day,” Joey said. “And I want to thank Bob Martin, my friend Ryan’s dad, because he always helps me with my surf contests and gives me a lot of pointers.”