SURFING wunderkind Alex McGuffin was just three years old when his dad plonked him on a foamie.
Now 16, the boy from Bicton has just broken into the top 500 in the World Surf League and has been selected in WA’s under 18 all-star team.
When the Chook phoned up for a chinwag this week, McGuffin was busy preparing for the national junior surfing championships at Phillip Island.
“I’m in the gym all the time working on my quads, and also building up my shoulders for paddling,” he says.
“Then when it’s time to surf I usually hit Trigg Beach and Margaret River in the summer and Cottesloe and Port Beach in winter.
“At the championships, I think Phillip Island will have similar swells to Margaret River, but the water will be a lot, lot colder and I’ll need to wear a thicker wetsuit!”
McGuffin says he first realised he had the right stuff after a family holiday in Bali.
“I think I was around eight and we were at Uluwatu doing loads of surfing,” he says.
“I improved dramatically during that trip and it was the start of me being serious about the whole thing.”
The Fremantle CBC student says his idol is Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina, the first person to pull off a “backflip” in a competition.
“Most surfers are good at one or two elements, but he can do everything in the book,” says McGuffin.
“Going pro would be the dream, but in the short term I’d like to win some events and improve my ranking.
“Surfing has been included in the Tokyo 2020 games — so you never know!”
The national junior surfing championships will be held on November 26.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK