Surfing-phenom, Jada Thomas doesn’t remember much about 2006. That’s because she was too busy being born.
Today, the 7-year old surfer (she turns eight on February 27) is taking on big dreams and even bigger waves on her quest to become the best surfer girl this side of everywhere.
Jada lives and surfs on the East Coast of Australia in a town called Shellharbour (about 90 minutes south of Sydney) with her parents and her older brother and sister.
To get to know the wee wahine, we recently caught up with Jada in between school and surf…
Q: How old were you when you first hopped on a surfboard?
Jada Thomas: I started surfing when I was 3 years old. That’s when I got a pink foamy board for my birthday. My parents actually have a video of me standing up on my very first wave.
Q: That’s awesome! What made you want to surf in the first place?
Jada: Our whole family surfs. I’ve grown up following my brother, sister and dad into the water most days.
Q: What is it about surfing that you love so much?
Jada: I love hanging with my brother and my sister and my mates in the water. I love the feeling of going across the wave and just being in the ocean whether I’m surfing, swimming or body surfing with my dad.
Q: Is there anything about surfing you don’t like?
Jada: The only thing I don't like is when it’s cold. I wear a steamer wetsuit most of the year. Roxy provides me with some really warm 4.3 mil steamers.
Q: How do you warm up afterward?
Jada: In the winter, I put on my Nautical Mile hooded towel, go home and take my wetsuit off in a warm shower.
Q: That’s a great idea. Many schools out here in Southern California have surf teams. Do you have school surf teams in Australia?
Jada: Yes, but I’m too young to be involved in a school surf team. The teams start in high school and I've only just finished first grade. So, I have to wait another seven years for high school to join a school team. My brother and sister surf for their school and they came in second in the district last year.
Q: You’re already surfing in competitions. Which one has been your favorite so far?
Jada: My favorite was my first ever competition, outside of our board riders club, called BL’s Blast Off. It’s run by world champ Barton Lynch and it’s the largest junior comp in Australia.
Q: How did you do?
Jada: I won all my heats and took the 6-and-under division. I also made the front page of the news paper!
Q: Congratulations! You mentioned Roxy and they’re one of your sponsors. That has to be exciting.
Jada: I have great sponsors! Beach Street Surf Scene is a large surf shop chain, they helped me get a sponsorship with Roxy which allows me to get lots of really cool Roxy clothes, wetsuits and things.
Q: Do you feel any pressure being a sponsored surfer? That’s a big deal!
Jada: Being only seven years old, I’m too young to be a Roxy team rider so there is no pressure at all. The main aim is to make it really fun and keep improving under my coaches Chris Homer and Rhys Bombaci. I have many, many years before results become important.
Q: What do your friends say when you tell them about your dreams of being a pro surfer?
Jada: All my friends know me as the surfer of the school, because I've been on TV a couple of times and appeared on the front page of the newspaper twice. So, they all expect me to be a pro one day. Fingers crossed.
Q: How did you break the news to your parents that you wanted to be a pro surfer?
Jada: There’s a school graduation video of me in preschool when I was five. The teachers asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up and I confidently said pro surfer!
Q: I guess that did it then! Who are some of the pro surfers you look up to or are your inspirations?
Jada: I have lots of favorite surfers like Coco Ho and Stephanie Gilmore, but my most favorite surfer is Sally Fitzgibbons.
Q: Sally's great! She's always one of the favorites when she surfs in the US Open of Surfing out here in Huntington Beach.
Jada: Sally lives around the corner from me and I try and surf with her when she's home from touring.
Q: That’s so awesome! Are there any men surfers you look up to?
Jada: Out of the boys my favorite surfers are Joel Parkinson, Owen Wright who lives near me too and Kelly Slater.
Q: All great surfers and great role models too. What is your most favorite surf spot?
Jada: My favorite surf spots are The Shallows and a place called The Farm. The Shallows is a reef break off Bass Point in Shellharbour. It's mostly a right hander but if you go left, it goes to dry reef if you go too far.
The Farm is in Killalea National Park also in Shellharbour. This is a consistent beach break that picks up the tiniest swell.
Q: Is there any place in the world you dream of surfing one day?
Jada: I surfed in Bali last month and that was so much fun, but I can't wait to surf in Hawaii. My family took me there when I was two. We went to the Pipe Masters and my parents said I was playing with the Hobgood kids the whole time.
Q: You keep good company! What are your other hobbies besides surfing?
Jada: I love playing soccer and I'm in my second year of playing comp in a mostly boys team. I was one of the top goal scorers for both of those years. I also play tag football, skateboard and ride my bike.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that not too many people know.
Jada: I have, what my parents call “Jammy Girl Days,” because some days I like to just stay home in my pajamas and play in my room and lay around all day watching Disney Channel and Nick channels. Also, I love my two poodle dogs, Miley and Honey because I play games and cuddle with them.
Q: This might be kind of a heavy question for a seven year old, but I think you’re up to it. What is your main goal in life?
Jada: My main goal is… to be the best girl surfer in the world!
Q: Well, I think you’re definitely on your way. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Jada and for being an inspiration to young surfers all over the world. Good luck and I can’t wait to see you out on tour one day!
Jada: Thank you!
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