OCEANSIDE — She’d be the first professional surfer in the Spencer family if she wants to, and by the looks of it 12-year-old Alyssa Spencer wants to.
Spencer got her first taste of surfing against the professionals last weekend when she competed in, and made it through to the money round of the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro in Oceanside.
“It was really fun,” Spencer said of her experience, including competing against one of her idols in Coco Ho.
“Surfing next to her was sweet,” she said. “I was just going to go out and have fun because they’d be really hard to beat. I just wanted to surf my best,” she said.
“We just came in hoping to have some fun, maybe make a heat or two and (she) just kept going. Definitely happy” said her dad Paul.
After her final heat on Saturday, Spencer, a Rip Curl team member, was swarmed with autograph seekers and fans looking to take selfies and photos with the up-and-coming surfer.
Having been surfing for nine years already, her dad taught her to surf at the age of three, Matt Myers, Rip Curl team manager and Spencer’s surf coach said she has an amazing ability to read the ocean, not just in competition, but whenever they’re surfing around Carlsbad, Trestles or San Clemente.
“She’ll go to where the waves are going to come,” Myers added. “That’s something you can’t really teach anyone.”
Spencer, who lives in Carlsbad, surfs everyday and credits being out in the ocean a lot for her abilities to read waves and get into the right positions.
“She’s got a really smooth style and (is) very mature for her age,” said Myers.
Her dad said he was a little surprised by her run through the early rounds of the competition.
“And she’s surfing against some of the top surfers in the world — she’s got nothing to lose,” Myers said.
“That’s the great thing about this event is that it allows a surfer like (Spencer)…to get in,” said Myers. “She barely got in the contest, she was on the waitlist and then she made it through three rounds and then the money round, which is pretty spectacular,” he said.