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By Jake Howard

The Pacific Paddle Games is big-time, even if you’re a small fry. While the pro paddlers garner the lion’s share of the attention, kids like Conrad Rojas take the racing just as serious, work just as hard and deserve just as much applause and respect.

A quintessential 13-year-old beach kid, he said he loves getting out on his stand-up paddleboard in Dana Point Harbor as much as he does ripping the inside peaks at T-Street.

Conrad Rojas. Photo: Courtesy of the Rojas family
Conrad Rojas. Photo: Courtesy of the Rojas family

“I just love to be in the water with my friends and have a good time,” Conrad told the San Clemente Times.

An eighth-grader at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente, he’s already logged years of water time—especially with his old man, Rob, who’s an elite paddler himself.

“When I surf, I feel energized, free and calm. My dad is my inspiration. I love to surf with my dad,” Conrad said. “I look up to him in surfing. He has shown me how to surf and guides me.”

As far as what he likes to do when he’s not studying or soaking in the local waters?

“I love to travel to different places around the world…to different surf spots,” said Conrad, keeping the dream alive.

Good luck to all the groms at Doheny this weekend. Go get ’em!

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