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High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Finding Their Footing

Over 300 surfers competed in the annual Kickoff Classic. Redondo wrapped up the competition with three podium finishes.

Surf participated in the annual Kickoff Classic, a multi-day surf competition against a variety of schools across the South Bay. The competition, ending Jan. 12, took place in Hermosa Beach and allowed all members of the surf team to participate. The team saw individual performance improve, but also growth as a team. 

Out of over 300 surfers, freshman Cormac O’Brian won the men’s longboard division. Other Redondo members also placed in the competition, with Dylan Morrisroe placing third in the men’s shortboard division and sophomore Keani Honda placing second in women’s shortboard.

“We have a lot of new additions to the team and they’ve been improving a lot,” Honda said. “It was really cool to see the girls [motivating] each other. Last year, the girls didn’t get [a competition] because they didn’t have enough time to do it, so it was really special this year.”

According to Honda, the competition could get high-pressure at times. Only the two best-surfed waves were counted toward a surfer’s score and each player had just fifteen minutes to perform. 

“I was nervous because this was my first time competing, [because]I didn’t get the opportunity last year,” Honda said. “Sometimes I mentally beat myself up to perform better. But this time I kept telling myself ‘I want this more than anyone. I can do this, I just have to want it.’”

Surf coach Duncan Avery claims to be impressed at the team for their intrinsic motivation, as many surfers compete in competitions outside of school to maximize their experience.

“The surf has been high, so a lot of players are getting experience surfing big waves and getting out of their comfort zone,” Avery said. “I think we did really well, especially considering that we have a lot of new players.”

The competition’s multiple heats meant some surfers competed in back-to-back heats. Therefore, some surfers had to dive into a new competition right after finishing their last.

“It could get really tiring and hard,” Honda said. “But I meditate [before surfing] because one of my favorite

Sophomore Dylan Morrisroe steadily rides wave. (Photo by Mia Cielak)

surfers meditates before he goes in. I just listen to music and try to take my mind off everything, just to get my priorities straight. So I’m not overwhelmed when I get in the water.” 

According to junior Karis Bruno, another challenge included finding the right position in order to catch waves scoring the most amount of points. 

“During some of the heats, I wasn’t in the right position to catch the waves. I had to paddle all the way down to the next flag. It was definitely a learning moment.” Bruno said. “If the waves go a certain way, then the next time I have to [position myself] another way. I would say I’m pretty good at wave selection, though. I know which waves are going to turn out and which ones aren’t.”

Honda noted a takeaway from the competition included observing a fellow competitor and noting her strategy. She approached her after the game to gain insight into her strategies.

“I think I need to work on my competition strategy, because [the competitor] had a really good one. I just need to know where to sit [on my board] and when to sit there. I need to be a little more smart about that,” Honda said. 

Bruno also claimed to have observed some personal weaknesses throughout the competition that she believes she could improve on. While attempting to score points, she found it was difficult to reach the wave on time. 

“One of my weaknesses is paddling. I’m strong, but I need to be stronger,” Bruno said. “I paddled for waves and I could barely get into them. I need to work on strengthening my paddles and connecting my turns.”

Similar to Honda, Bruno also notes her personal routine to reduce stress before competitions. 

“I usually sit down and pray for peace because during a competition my heartbeat goes up and I just have a ton of adrenaline. It can get hard to breathe, but I just focus on my breath and try to have a good time,” Bruno said. 

Despite the pressures, both surfers claim the competition to be an enjoyable experience showcasing the team’s improvements. 

“Everyone is just going for it. You’re [basically against] the best kids in the South Bay,” Bruno said. “I definitely see a lot of improvement in the team and everyone is so supportive of each other, that’s what I love. Everyone’s saying ‘go for it, you got this’. There’s so much teamwork and support.”

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About the Contributor
Summer Puterbaugh
Summer Puterbaugh, Print News Editor
Aka the Peanut Butter Bandit.

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