Kelly Slater is the world’s most prolific surfer, having won 11 world titles during a pro career that has spanned more than 20 years.
But the most dedicated surfer? These days that distinction might belong to Meg Roh, 13, who lives in Southern California and has paddled out every day, with the goal of catching at least four waves a day, for an entire year.
The Dana Point resident, who took up surfing when she was 4, completed the quest to surf 365 consecutive days on Friday.
“She surfed for two hours this morning and I just dropped her off at school, because she did not want to miss a day at school either,” Her mother, Sue Hann, said in a phone interview Friday morning. “I asked her how it felt to do this and she looked at me with a big smile on her face and said, ‘Yeah, I feel really good. I just feel like it’s a good thing.’ “
Meg, who has maintained a 4.0 grade average, surfed every day, usually with her stepfather, despite conditions that ranged from very good (and very large) to extremely sloppy, bone-chillingly cold, and small.
“For a girl that young to have that kind of dedication and fortitude, to come out here every day — good, bad, whatever — it’s phenomenal,” Dennis Kemp, her board maker, told Laylan Connelly of the Orange County Register. “There’s a champ in that little body there just waiting to bust out.”
The champion within Meg is evident in both her dogged determination and her courage.
Her stepfather, Sam Hann, told the Register about a day three years ago, when wave heights reached 15 feet at San Onofre. Meg was participating in a surf camp coached by three-time longboard champion Josh Baxter.
Baxter ordered the kids in the camp to stay out of the water and Meg whispered to Sam Hann, “That doesn’t mean me, right?”
Hann reluctantly let Meg paddle out with him. During the paddle-out a giant wave swept Meg over the falls and she struck the sandy bottom, but came up smiling.
“It was scary, but now that I think about it – it could have been worse,” the young surfer said.
During the past year there were days that were so sloppy and uninviting that nobody else was out — except Meg.
Her favorite spot was San Onofre, a popular surfing destination south of Dana Point, where many of the vehicles sport pink heart “Meg” stickers.
The longboarder also aspires to become a world champion. It’ll require lots of work, but Meg has already shown she is not lacking in work ethic, and has vowed to continue her streak for as long as she’s enjoying herself.
Said local surfer Ron Chamberlain, of those wind-blown days during which nobody else would paddle out: “I’ll watch her go out by herself and think, ‘How does that little girl do it?’ She really has inspired all of us.”
– Images are courtesy of Paul Bersebach / Orange County Register. Click on the blue link to view the entire O.C. Register article and more images
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