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By Andrea Swayne
London Almida, 13, is a new addition to the local lineup, since his family took up residence in San Clemente three months ago.
He’s been living on the south shore of Kauai but is no stranger to California surf competition, having competed in the National Scholastic Surfing Association Southwest Conference in the 2011-2012 season. This season he is competing in the NSSA—both here and in Hawaii—the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour, Hawaiian Surfing Federation Kauai and Hawaii Surfing Association events. At the November WSA contest in Pismo Beach, he was a triple finalist, taking fifth in U14 and U18, and sixth in U16.
London has been surfing since the age of 6, first getting the hang of it atop the nose of his dad’s longboard. He attributes his later success to coaching by Kahea Hart, Masaijah Lani, Mike Lamm and Sean Mattison.
London also credits his progression to his supportive family and sponsors.
“My mom and my dad are my best sponsors and biggest supporters,” he said. “My brother, who also surfs, is so epic too. He’s awesome and really helpful. And I want to give a shout out to my sponsor Kung Fu Tonic—probably the raddest guys on the earth.”
His most immediate goals for surfing include earning an invitation into the Surfing America Prime series and having a go at making the U.S. Team.
“I also want to make it to the World Tour and be a champion someday,” London said. “I’ve been working with my fitness trainer four nights a week, surfing as much as possible and training really hard with my coaches. We’re focusing on big rail turns and really nice, beautiful surfing. Once we get that down we will start working on my air game, but for now we’re sticking to the rail game.”
This homeschooled eighth-grader enjoys learning and is studying engineering at an advanced level.
“After a surfing career I’d also like to be an architect and a mechanical engineer,” he said.
London is also learning to speak French and enjoys skateboarding, tennis, golfing, horseback riding and life in San Clemente.
“I like all the kids and how everyone is super nice here,” he said. “I also like all the restaurants in the area and the waves.”