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Surfing: Second title proves Trip Chandler is no fluke
By Roger Greene
Huntington Beach was twice as nice for Trip Chandler this time around. Chandler captured his second consecutive NSSA national surfing championship earlier this month, fulfilling a promise he made to himself after last year’s win.
“I wanted to show last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Chandler, a rising senior at Waccamaw High. “I was so much more confident this year. [In 2016,] I sort of came from out of nowhere. Winning two in a row, I think I’ve opened some eyes.”
Chandler, 17, won the Explorer Longboard division, his win capping about a month-long stay on the West Coast dedicated to training for the event.
“I was up and down the coast,” Chandler said. “I was at Dana Point, Oceanside, Huntington Beach, surfing at all times of the day. I treated every session like it was a competition. I’m a year older, I feel stronger and I wanted to take advantage of that. I wanted to be ready to go.”
Chandler felt the trip was necessary to acclimate himself to the more intense surfing conditions that exist on the Pacific Coast.
“There’s a big difference in the surfing on the Pacific Coast,” Chandler said. “The waves out there are more powerful and have bigger breaks. That’s why so many of the competitions are won by surfers from states like California and Hawaii, they’re used to seeing those type of waves all the time.
“I wanted to show there are good surfers on the East Coast as well. That was definitely one of the reasons I wanted my name on the banner again.”
Chandler said he will be sticking to local waters for his next event as he plans to compete in the 18th annual Guy Daniels Memorial Surfoff. The event, which has $2,000 in prize money at stake in the pro-am division, begins on July 29 at Surfside Beach.
“They’ll be a lot of great surfers there,” Chandler said. “Getting a good start will be important. If you can catch a good wave right off the bat, you’ll give yourself a chance.”
Looking ahead to his senior year at WHS, Chandler sees himself making time for both surfing and school.
“It’s my last year, so I want to enjoy it,” Chandler said. “I’m sure I’ll take some surfing trips. But I also want to go on to college. So, I won’t be able to just forget about school.”
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