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By Jake Howard

Big thumbs up to lil’ Makai Bray for taking out a big Western Surfing Association (WSA) win at the San Clemente Pier over the weekend.

The Salt Life Midget Smith Memorial hit the sand with a healthy dose of winter swell in the water, and 10-year-old Bray stepped up to take out a tough final stacked with talent. Lately, Bray’s been spending a lot of time in the water working with former World Tour star and Brazilian legend Neco Padaratz, whose influence can be seen in the evolution of both Bray’s technique and his intelligence when surfing heats.

Makai Bray. Photo: Courtesy of Western Surfing Association
Makai Bray. Photo: Courtesy of Western Surfing Association

“I’ve known this kid since he was born. Can’t count how many special moments we’ve had over the years,” wrote Padaratz on social media after Bray’s win. “Back then I didn’t know about his natural talent, but nowadays, I’m his coach and watching him succeed is pure joy, (it) is to live the dream again. You go, Makai. There is a bright future ahead of you.”

In addition to a good day of surf for the local groms, the Salt Life Midget Smith Memorial also played host to the WSA’s 10th Annual Toys For Tots event. Competitors were encouraged to bring toys and gifts for the less fortunate.

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