San Clemente High School Junior Surfing phenom Conner Dand takes his first major win at the 2014 NSSA High School surfing championships and helped his team take home another National team championship trophy. HSI had a chance to ask Conner a few questions and here is what he had to say.
What sports did you play as a youth and did those sports help you become the athlete you are today?
I played a lot of sports growing up such as baseball, basketball, soccer, golf. I actually played baseball year round, up until like 2 years ago, and I would just surf when I had time between practices and games. All the sports helped a lot with my coordination and sportsmanship.
When did you start surfing?
I first started surfing when I was 6 with my dad. I wasn’t super into it at first, but the more I did it the more I loved it.
When did you compete in your first surfing contest? And how did you do and what was your overall memory of the experience?
My first surf contest was a WSA at Goldenwest street in Huntington. I was 9 and I won! I remember the first heat where I pulled into a little close out barrel and my board smacked me in the face and came in with my mouth bleeding. I ended up making the heat though and surfed the rest of the contest with a fat lip.
This year you won the NSSA State High School Surfing Championship — coming into this year, did you anticipate have such a successful season?
I really hope so! haha But I mean anything can happen, I just really hope our team keeps doing well and things will fall in place.
You’ve had a great year for San Clemente High School, can you tell me about some of the most memorable highlights of your year?
Yeah it has been a great, fun year and some of my most memorable highlights would have to be winning States and the winning the Oakley High School Team Challenge.
To read the rest of this article, check out the Summer 2014 issue of High School Illustrated – South Orange County for iPad, completely free on the App Store.