Sophie Northcott, an SLVHS senior, has been one of the most active surfers on the Santa Cruz Mountain Surf Team. Northcott has been surfing for years and truly enjoys the sport.
Northcott has been surfing for SLV since the beginning of the team, “I became involved in surf team because I surfed with April a lot, and was close with her family, and her mom was the one who started the team. I also had an interest in competing.” The team was created in 2012, during her freshman year of highschool.
Surfing is a exciting, adrenaline-rushing, dangerous sport, so there are both fun and scary experiences. When asked about these experiences she said, “The best thing that’s happened to me since starting surfing is getting to meet people from all over town, and also being in the ocean is a great stress reliever and a good place to just chill for a bit. The worst part is that surfing is definitely time consuming and you often have to plan your day around the best conditions (tides, swells, wind) a lot of the time this makes it really hard to spend time with friends who don’t surf.”
Surfing, along with being exciting and dangerous is also very challenging. Regarding her challenges, Northcott says, “The most challenging thing about surfing is definitely improving. It’s an extremely difficult sport to get good at, and if you even stop practicing for a week you can feel yourself forgetting, and you have to re-learn.” The team, still being fairly new, has done well over the last few years and their growth and improvements are clear. Northcott says, “When we first started doing the contests we were all really bad. We didn’t know any of the other kids from the other schools, and we were definitely outsiders, but it was still really fun being able to hang out at the beach with friends even if we weren’t doing great in the actual contests. This year, however, our team has done pretty well considering we’re from the mountains and compete against schools that have a lot of skilled surfers such as Soquel and Santa Cruz.” The team competes multiple times during winter, spring, and summer. They face many other schools including, but not limited to Soquel, Santa Cruz, Harbor and Carmel High.
Northcott has done very well over the course of her four years of surfing as well as coming very close to victories placing both second and third. Sophie has surfed every day for the past four years, using the word “addiction” to describe her love for the sport . She definitely plans on continuing her sport.
To come and see the school team and Northcott compete you can check out the school website at http://hs.slvusd.org/athletics/winter-sports/surf-team/ where the schedule is listed.
By Andy Wise