Some of Australia’s best Indigenous surfers hit Bells Beach recently for the Australian Indigenous Surfing titles. Among the pros were two talented kids, 12-year old Taj and 14-year old Summer who’d been training for the big event all year. Here’s what happened.
Summer and Taj are two young groms hoping to make a big splash in the surfing scene. They come from a family that lives and breathes surfing and one of their favourite events is the Aussie Indigenous Surfing Titles.
SUMMER: It’s great, like, how the Indigenous community, like, comes and we all come together and we surf together and it’s all good experience and, like, it encourages, like, younger surfers, like, to come out and surf with us.
But even though surfing’s in their blood, it’s no walk in the park for Taj and Summer.
There aren’t any junior events at the titles, so Taj and Summer have to step up to the big leagues and compete with adults.
But, that didn’t seem to faze Summer last year, when she won the Open Women’s comp!
SUMMER SIMON: I was only 13 when I first won Bells and I was, like, so stoked to win it at that that stage and, yeah, it was really good. I’m just hoping there’s more girls, so then, like – maybe, like, a bit more competition and I’ll surf better and it will be more fun.
Once the comp started, Summer once again stole the show.
After some impressive runs, she came out on top in the final, making it back to back championships.
SUMMER: Well, I feel like super stoked, happy to be out there. It’s Bells Beach, you don’t get to surf out there often.
But despite the big win, Summer says she’s still got room to improve.
SUMMER: I’ve grown up surfing all my life. I was never really good. I used to not be able to stand up. But as soon as I learned to duck dive and stand up properly, I started getting better and better and I’ve still got more room for improvement. But never give up on anything otherwise you won’t make it. You’ve got to work hard and achieve your goals.