Young Local Surfers Compete in California

OCEAN CITY – Two young surfers are representing Ocean City on the West Coast this week at a national competition.

Area residents Christian Winter,11, and Gavin Bren,13, are competing this week at the 2023 USA Surfing Championships in San Clemente, California. They’ll surf the famed Lower Trestles.

“This is like the Super Bowl for these guys,” said Laura Bren, Gavin’s mother.

The boys, who are members of the K-Coast surfing team, will be competing June 20-24 in the USA Surfing Championships at the iconic Lower Trestles, the same break where some of the world’s most famous surfers have shown off their skills. This is Bren’s third year competing at the invitation-only event for the best under 18-year-old surfers in the nation, while Winter will be attending for the first time. They’ll compete against surfers from all across the country. Bren will compete in the under-14 division while Winter will show his skills in the under-12 division.

Winter’s parents are hopeful the boys’ trip to the event will give Christian the chance to meet other kids who love surfing and might even inspire other young surfers from the Ocean City area.

“It’s truly remarkable that at such a young age he has the opportunity to travel and explore new surf breaks, while also competing at a higher level of surfing,” Renee Winter said. “The friendships he’ll form with other surfers from around the world will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience that he’ll cherish for a lifetime.”

For Bren, this is a chance to gauge his skills against his peers from across the country.

“He’s committed,” his mother said. “This is his sport.”

Bren has now competed in various national surfing competitions and has been honing his skills by facing off against the best surfers in the country in his age group.

“He gets to be a part of competing against the best of the best,” she said. “For him, this is the opportunity to shine.”

She added that surfing had given him so many valuable opportunities during the past few years. He was recently one of four kids in the country invited to surf in Kelly Slater’s wave pool.

“This sport has given him so many opportunities to do different things in different places,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.