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By Jake Howard

Representing Dana Hills High School, battling through round after round at the NSSA Interscholastic Championship last weekend, Ian Gottron deserves a tip of the cap for finishing third in the highly competitive men’s varsity final.

The result is all the more impressive because not only does Gottron rip on a shortboard—he ranks among the best in an area renowned as a hotbed of talent—he’s doing it on his terms, in true surfer fashion.

Ian Gottron. Photo: Instagram/@gato_son
Ian Gottron. Photo: Instagram/@gato_son

He’s just as comfortable cross-stepping to the nose at Doheny as he is launching an air at Salt Creek, and that takes some real talent. A naturally stylish surfer, he also rips on less conventional craft such as fishes and single-fin eggs. Gottron is that rare breed of surfer who can jump on any board and make it sing.

As a testament to his talent, at the end of last year, Gottron won both the longboard and shortboard titles at the South Coast League individual finals at Trestles, a first for a surfer from Dana Hills.

Growing up in San Juan Capistrano, the oldest of five kids, Gottron is currently finishing his senior year at Dana Hills. With a bright future in surfing ahead of him, he’s got the support of sponsors Katin and XCEL Wetsuits, while local shaper Donald Brink has been putting well-designed boards under his feet. Gottron’s even been experimenting with shaping his own boards.

Nikki’s Café in Dana Point named a donut after the little legend. If a maple bar topped with crispy bacon is your thing, cruise in and ask for the “Gato Son” (Gottron’s nickname).

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