The Allure of Surfing

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 Adam Mejia hopes to become Laguna’s next generation surfing star

By Somer Flaherty

FT7A4553Laguna Surf and Sport team rider Adam Mejia recently graduated from Laguna Beach High School, where he made a name for himself on the surf team and in competitions from Oceanside to Santa Cruz. But the 18-year-old has his sights set on a pro career like surfers he idolized growing up—Bobby Martinez, Dion Agius, Andy Irons and Mitch Coleborn. For now, Adam, who has been called “one to watch” by local legend Jeff Booth—one of the top five on the surfing World Tour in the ’90s—spends hours each day in Laguna’s water honing his skills and preparing for what he hopes will be an envious future on a World Tour, traveling and competing.

Laguna Beach Magazine: How did you get started in surfing?

Adam Mejia: When I was 9 years old, I had a neighbor who owned a surf school, and he asked if I wanted to try surfing. He took me out for my first surf lesson, and the feeling I got riding that wave got me hooked. I started surfing every day after school. Even if there were no waves, I’d still get in the water.

LBM: You’ve been surfing in Laguna half your life. Where are the best spots?

AM: Brooks Street and Thalia are great spots locally, and a little further, I like Lower Trestles at San Onofre.

LBM: What do you do to stay in shape?

AM: Cardio is really important to get your heart ready because you are constantly paddling out there in the water, and you don’t want to get short of breath, but stretching is also important to not getting any injuries.

LBM: Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a surf school instructor for a neighbor. How would you recommend newbies get involved in the sport?

AM: First, be open-minded and then take a couple of lessons with a local surf school. Once you get on that first wave, you’ll get that rush and know what surfing is all about.

LBM: Any tips for other young kids who are out there surfing everyday?

AM: Have fun with it. If you push yourself too much, you’ll stress yourself too much over becoming better and you’ll lose that joy you had from first starting. Having fun while surfing and a good mindset is so important.

LBM: To really grow in the sport, how often do you recommend getting in the water?

AM: I surf twice a day for about two to four hours.

LBM: To spend that much time in one sport you’ve really got to love it. For you, why is surfing such an important part of your life?

AM: I love just being in the water and that feeling of riding a wave. It’s like a roller coaster. But then hanging out with all of your friends and watching them surf too just gets you fired up.

Surf’s Up

Check out the next wave of cool surf gear.

By Somer Flaherty

To be a great surfer, you need grace, balance and a bit of fearlessness. The sport, which athletes say can be addictive, also provides a hefty aerobic workout, with a recent study noting that during competition surfers’ heart rates climbed to 190-plus beats per minute and rarely dropped under 120 beats. Get in the water, track your own fitness goals, and protect yourself from the sun with the latest gear. LBM

 

Quiksilver rashguard, available at Laguna Surf and Sport (949-497-7000; surfandsport.com).
Quiksilver rashguard, available at Laguna Surf and Sport (949-497-7000; surfandsport.com).
MDSolarSciences quick-dry sunscreen, available at Laguna Sunset Drug (949-494-6585; mdsolarsciences.com).
MDSolarSciences quick-dry sunscreen, available at Laguna Sunset Drug (949-494-6585; mdsolarsciences.com).
Suunto Ambit 330-foot water-resistant watch with heart rate monitor, available at Laguna Sea Sports (949-494-6965; lagunaseasports.com).
Suunto Ambit 330-foot water-resistant watch with heart rate monitor, available at Laguna Sea Sports (949-494-6965; lagunaseasports.com).

 

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