Surfing is a deceptive sport. From the beach, surfers appear to glide effortlessly on the water. They make it look easy, but any surfer will tell you it’s a challenge. Which is why when Quincy Symonds, 7, of Coolangatta, Australia, surfed her first wave at 4 years old, the surfing community was amazed.
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“It is quite unusual for someone to start so young,” said Jessi-Miley Dyer, World Surf League Women’s Commissioner. “I think she is definitely special. It looks like she has a strong connection to the ocean and it's something she enjoys.”
Quincy’s parents remember how quickly that connection was formed. “Quincy just did not want to get out of the water,” her father, Jake Symonds, said. “The only way we could get her to leave was to promise that she'd get to go back again tomorrow.”
She rapidly picked up the fundamentals of the sport and began competing in local competitions within a year of her first surf. Onlookers were surprised that Quincy was unfazed by waves double her size. “She just kept smiling and laughing no matter how many times she fell off. It just didn't matter. It was just so much fun,” her mother, Kim Symonds, said.
Her passion for surfing has blended into nearly every aspect of her life. When she’s not at the beach, she is often thinking about where and when her next surf will be. She gets in the water almost every day and on average surfs up to eight hours per day. Along with a full surf schedule, she makes time for a weekly workout at a local gym to develop her strength and balance.
Fortunately Quincy also has access to some of the world’s best surf breaks. Surfers from around the world flock to Australia’s Gold Coast to train and compete. The region has a strong track record of producing champion pro surfers.
Even though Quincy dreams of being a champion pro surfer too, her parents are focused on keeping the sport fun. “It doesn’t matter if it’s surfing, golf, tennis, school -- put the effort in and then it’s up to you how far you go with it. It’s not my goal for her to achieve anything in particular," Jake Symonds said. “I’m just excited to see what she’ll do with it, if she chooses to continue.”
ABC News' Angel Canales, Ben Brown and Olivia Smith contributed to this report.