Our next rider is from a city in Orange County, California.
They reside on a stretch of prime surf coastline that is home to breaks like, The Wedge, Laguna beach, Salt Creek, Oceanside and T-Street.
With riders like Jay Reale, Vicki Reale, Paul Roach and Manny Vargas, Brian Wise all residing on the West coast it is no wonder why there is still such a thriving Bodyboarding community.
Throw into the mix the freshly established APB North America Tour with the recent huge success of the Bodyboarding US festival 2019, Ocean Beach, San Diego and plenty of grass routes clubs and comps, it is fantastic to see almost a revival of the sport from across the pond.
" Hi LidLife my name is Lisah Gonzalez. I’m 39years young I’m from San Juan Capistrano California I used to live on Lakewood very inland from the beach as a kid.
But I always dreamed to move out of there to Dana point Cali to live by my favourite surf spot “Salt Creek “ I started bodyboarding at the age of 10 but took it to the next level when I turned 15, I saw some kids going down the line and busting 360’s and rollos at my home beach Seal Beach south side, I was amazed how they could do tricks like that as a kid and wanted to do it soooo bad.
It was not until I was 17 when I dated a bodyboarder who took me to other spots and showed me how to 360 with hand drags Hahahaha but thank god I was a fast learner and figured out how the momentum worked.
It was my favourite maneuver and I mastered it. I was inspired mostly by Rot 1,2,3 and and the inside and crave the cave and girl jam vids the inside was mind blowing to me at the time cause it was the first time I ever got to see girls ripping!
It’s my favourite section of the movie besides the helmet cam footage which was ahead of its time at that time.
My favourite rider was claudia Santos In girl jam I loved her style and poise. Now I’m loving Isabella Sousa she rips so hard I love watching her it’s so inspiring I want to fly in the air like her one day.
Before I left lakewood I would surf seal beach south side which is a sick wedge barrel and Newport Beach 40th a sick left barrel off a jetty, I loved that spot.
But, my ultimate favourite spot is Salt Creek it’s such a versatile wave it can pick up most swell directions and barrels are so insane when the right swell hits in the winter.
I’ve been travelling as much as I can and by far my favourite spot in the world is in Moorea called Haapiti! It’s a magical wave you must surf it, you kayak out to the reef spot and you have it to yourself with solid surf and the blueest water you ever seen.
When I was a grom my first name brand board was a manta Sabre, I loved it and I ended up getting sponsored by them with board discounts.
My Crew was just me and my best friend Carly, as grommie’s we pushed each other to the limits when that El Niño swell hit in the 1990’s we went for it at HB and I almost drowned that day, it was huge like 8-10 HEAVY! I took one wave and dug a rail and cartwheeled down the face multiple hold downs lost my board and fins, the lord had other plans for me that day as I washed up on the shore, but hey, I went out and challenged myself, I learned a lesson on keeping calm and not frantically squirming underwater to lose my energy and breath so quick.
When I turned 21 I did my very first competition with Manny Vargas summer slam ! I won first place! Amped!!! Then I did it again the next year and got second. I was hooked, later that year I met another Sponger chick named Nathalie Rendon, she introduced me to the BIA Contest tour, I did my first contest with that tour in HB and got 3rd.
I didn’t know how to roll yet so my scores weren’t so high. After a couple of contests I got to know Keila Grodzen and she pushed me to my best ability in the line up, I’ll always be grateful for that, she taught me how to roll and how to compete smart and to charge bigger barrels.
Scotty Carter my best friend, he taught me key barrel riding skills and style. He would take pics of my riding and critic them to help me grow. Since then, I’ve been competing on and off, with my work schedule and my kids, it’s always fun to get together with the girls and push each other to be better.
I am currently sponsored by JL bodyboards customs by Jimmy Linville, I love him and his shaping never disappoints. I love kpaloa’s fins they propel the best for me and fit my small feet.
As of now I consider myself a free surfer (soul surfer) I have no big name sponsors or compete on a tour consistently. I surf when I can since I’m a mom and I can’t travel that much.
Bodyboarding has taught me so much in life I want to thank Tom morey for inventing the bodyboard I really don’t know what path I would of gone if it wasn’t for this piece of foam I ride on.
I love riding waves it’s just magical to me and thanks to God for providing waves for us to ride, I feel so blessed to ride them.
Thank you for reading my story I’ll surf till I’m an old lady😂 haha.
Photo credits include:
Lisah, what an inspiring story, we love reading how bodyboarding can ground a person, give them direction and be a constant, you are an inspiration to a lot of young gloms who will be ready this article, thanks for sharing your story 🤙🏻😎
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2020 is shaping up to be a fantastic year....