Three local surfers are hoping to put Corpus Christi on the map in the surfing world.
All three recently qualified for the National Surfing Championships, which will be held later this month in Huntington Beach, Cali., and all three are under the age of 13.
As you can imagine, the kids are excited. All of them are students from Flour Bluff, and they say it was the support of their parents who motivate them to do their best.
12-year old Bradley Blades, 12-year old Ian Appling and 10-year old Serena Nava all have something in common: their love of surfing.
"Just the thrill of getting on the wave, and having a blast," Appling said.
"When I first stood up, I loved it," Blades said. "My dad bought me a board for my eighth birthday and just started surfing from then on. Worked my way up to here."
"It's really fun to surf and like, whenever you are mad or sad, you just get your feeling when you go surfing really fun," Nava said.
The kids recently competed in the State Surfing Championship. Both Serena and Ian won first place, and Bradley came in a close second.
"There were a few kids I couldn't beat in the contest. I just kept going and pushing through and beating those kids," Bradley said. "Now I'm going to nationals with my friends here."
Now all three are now moving on to the national championship in California.
"Just a big thrill for us," Ian said. "Proud to represent Dockside and Corpus Christi, and I hope to put Corpus Christi on the map, hopefully."
The kids are now out of school and are focusing their energy on getting ready for the national competition. You will either find them in the water or on the beach. In fact, it was at the North Packery Channel where we first met the kids -- Ian playing the guitar, trying to raise money for his first California adventure and first time at nationals.
It is Serena's second time going to nationals. She told her friends this advice -- just to have fun and surf your best. The kids' parents are now trying to get local businesses to sponsor the kids to help with the cost of the trip.
A benefit raffle will be held today from 6-9pm at Sparrow's Landing in Flour Bluff. There will be live music and raffle tickets are two dollars. The money will be used to help the surfers defer travel, lodging, food, and entry fee costs.
Some of the prices include:
Family 4 pack from Hurricane Alley
Pair of tickets to see Randy Rogers Band w/Wade Bowen-Brewster Street
Pair of tickets to see Metalachi-Concrete Street
Pair of tickets to see Grainger Smith-Brewster Street
Pair of tickets to a concert of your choice at House of Rock
$25 Gift Certificate to Scuttlebutt's
$25 Gift Certificate to Padre Island Burger Co.
A Billabong prize pack and either one free day of surf camp or one private lesson from Padre Island Surf Camp
A hurley prize pack