Teen surfers travel across the coasts for passion

By taking trips to the shores during their free time, teen surfers are able to get proper practice riding waves in the ocean. Some surfers use cross training like skateboarding and snowboarding when away from the shore.


Reprinted with permission from Vanessa Morrison

Kawabonga!…Catching a wave, senior Vanessa Morrison surfs off the coast of Ocean City, New Jersey. Morrison started teaching herself how to surf after initially being introduced to surfing by her grandparents.

Fueled by a passion for catching waves, teen surfers travel to different states and across the nation to ride their boards year-round. Within the community, various teens compete in surfing, both recreationally and on the competitive level.
Due to the closest shore being in the neighboring state on New Jersey, surfers in Pennsylvania have to make trips to get in proper practice.
Senior Tatianna Velicer began surfing in middle school and immediately was hooked on the sport.
“I started surfing when I was in seventh grade and the moment I caught my first wave I instantly fell in love with it,” Velicer said. “Then, I signed up for competitions through the Eastern Surfing Organization and I started competing.”
Seniors Madeline Markey and Vanessa Morrison were both introduced to surfing by their grandparents.
Markey’s great-grandfather was a “big surfer” and she was first shown surfing by her grandmother.
“He lived out in Santa Barbara, California. I went out there when he was about to pass away and my grandma took me out,” Markey said.
According to Morrison, she began surfing at 5 years old.
“My grandparents thought it was important that I learned how to surf so they bought me a foam little surfboard for like twenty dollars,” Morrison said.
Markey competes through the Women’s World Surf League (WWSL) and began competing during middle school.
According to Velicer surfing has mental and social benefits beyond just the action itself.
“You’ve never felt a thrill like standing up and riding a wave in,” Velicer said. “Surfing is not only about what you do in the water, its also a fulfilling lifestyle that comes with positive energy and good vibes.”