By Andrea Swayne
Samantha Sibley, 13, of San Clemente is wrapping up a very busy and successful competition season.
As a member of the Shorecliffs Middle School surf team, Samantha’s big win last weekend at National Scholastic Surfing Association Interscholastic Nationals helped to propel her team to their 12th straight national title and made her the Middle School Girls national champion.
“It felt amazing,” she said. “I couldn’t believe I won. I just got on the right waves, surfed the best I could and it happened. And it was really fun getting chaired up the beach.”
She will also be competing in the upcoming NSSA Nationals in the Explorer Girls, Explorer Women, Open Girls and Open Women divisions.
At school Samantha is in her last few days of seventh grade and taking home a straight-A report card. By taking P.E., math and English classes as independent studies, she gets to surf for about three hours before school every day in pursuit of a professional surfing career.
“Long-term I really want to be on the World Tour,” Samantha said. “Short-term, I am training really hard to earn a spot on the Surfing America USA Junior Surf Team and hoping to one day compete in ISA world competition.”
As for whether she will pursue a pro career or a college degree first or concurrently, Samantha has not decided.
“I will just cross that bridge when I come to it,” she said.
Samantha credits her family, sponsors and coach with helping her to achieve her goals in the sport.
“I want to thank my mom and dad for their support and for taking me to the beach and to all of my contests,” she said. “I’d also like to say thanks to my sponsors, Surface Sunscreen, Pua Lani Hawaii, Viable, Jack’s Surf Shop, Byrne Surfboards and my coach Erik Krammer.”
We caught up with Samantha on Tuesday, just before she headed out to Lower Trestles to compete for the nation’s top-tier amateur national titles in three divisions—Girls U14, U16 and U18 shortboard—at the Surfing America USA National Championship, June 16-20.
“I really want to perform to the best of my ability, make a final and have fun,” Samantha said. “Getting to surf Lowers with only three other girls out will be amazing. The surf is really fun right now, at about two to three feet, and I really like surfing with priority because everyone gets on waves and it’s super fun.”