Tofino surfer Jasmine Porter wrapped up 2019 with a big win down in California.
The 15-year-old Canadian Junior Team member claimed her first major victory at a Western Surfing Association (WSA) Championship Tour stop at the San Clemente Pier on Dec. 7-8.
Porter placed first in the Girls Under-16 shortboard division, out performing 20 young competitors. Her inaugural WSA win came a day after a strong third place finish in the Girls Under-18 shortboard.
Porter went to San Clemente with her mom, younger sister Serena, and friend Keanna Hasz. She said the contest atmosphere was very different from surfing heats with friends on home turf.
“People aren’t going to give you waves. You have to be pretty aggressive. They are definitely not friendly out there. They are not smiling at you. They are not talking to you,” she said.
After placing third in the U18, Porter said she texted her coach and role model Shannon Brown for advice.
“I went into the U16 heat thinking these girls are so much better than me, but than my coach told me that I just had to be on the better waves. He just gave me some things to think about that really helped,” Porter told the Westerly over hot chocolates at Pacific Sands.
Coach Shannon Brown said Porter has been training really hard.
“She’s been spending a lot of time in the gym and getting really fit. She’s starting to branch out and travel more and more down to California to compete and she’s starting to see results as she gets comfortable being down in that environment. It’s really awesome to see,” said coach Brown.
Porter said she tries to surf every day, if not twice a day.
“In the rainy days, it’s kinda hard to get up for a double session, but I definitely surf every day,” she said.
“There is always a wave at [Cox Bay]. You gotta get out there and surf because that’s what contests can be like sometimes. It can be good sometimes and it can be really bad sometimes, but so can contest conditions. Surfing harder waves, when you finally get on a good wave, it just makes it so much better,” Porter notes.
To start off 2020, Porter is heading to Australia with coach Brown and Junior National teammates Kalum Temple Bruhwiler and Reed Platenius for a leg of the qualifying series and a couple other junior events.