Rider Profile – John Mel
The Mel family has a deep history in the surfing industry starting with John Mel Sr., owner of Freeline Surf Shop on 41st ave in Santa Cruz. He paved the way for his son Peter Mel who is no stranger to the surfing world. When John Mel Sr. started Freeline he had no idea the legacy that he was creating but as the years went on it became apparent that the Mel family produced rippers!
His son Peter Mel proved that with his ability to surf anything from 2ft – 20+ft… He charges and is still to this day winning contests most recently in 30 foot surf at Pico Alto. And now, there is a new Mel hitting the surf scene and making a name for himself early in his career.
John Mel Jr. is only twelve years old but his surfing is maturing quickly. He is already traveling the world to places that we would only dream of going to. John is young, ripping, and having fun that combo is a perfect recipe for becoming the 2011 – 12 & under US Champ (See footage below of his heat). We had a chance to steal a little bit of John’s time and asked him a few questions. Enjoy ~
NCS: How about an introduction?
JM:John Mel, twelve years old. I’m from Santa Cruz, California but moved to Newport Beach with my mom and dad last year.
NCS: How old were you when you started surfing?
JM: Two or three but I actually started paddling into waves and surfing on my own at six in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
NCS: Who helps you with getting you to contests, your sponsors, interviews, and traveling?
JM: My dad is my surfing coach and helps me with contest. My mom is my manager and learning coach for CAVA. She drives me everywhere too. My parents work like business partners’ getting my life organized, which pretty much revolves around surfing. My sponsors also help me with travel and support my career.
NCS: Were you one of the younger kids out at pipe?
JM: Not sure, I surfed Pipe with friends who are similar in age. I pretty much got hooked on it this winter. My friend Leo got me out on the big day, maybe ten foot Hawaiian.
NCS: Where would you say has been your favorite place?
JM: Fiji, I stayed on Tavarua Island for a week and didn’t want to leave. The people are super nice and the waves are amazing.
NCS: What are your top songs on your ipod?
JM: Wildfire, Sierra Leone and Youngblood
NCS: Who is your biggest influence in surfing?
JM: My dad, Peter Mel, he taught me everything I know.
NCS: When was the last time you were scared out in the water?
JM: It was at Pipe this winter.
NCS: Do you have any goals for 2012?
JM: I want to win another National title, if not two.
NCS: Do you have any advice to any of the younger kids out there that might be thinking about making surfing their career?
JM: Try your hardest and try to improve on your weak spots. Be passionate about your goals and have fun too.
NCS: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
JM: Yes, I thank my mom and dad, all of my competitors and friends and my sponsors who helped me get to where I am now.