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Sawyer Lindblad entered her first World Surf League qualifier at 14 years of age... and won. A few weeks later, she silenced any naysayers by earning a second place spot at her next QS competition in Morro Bay. And it just kept going from there. Exploding onto the scene with the same type of power you see from her in the water, Sawyer is San Clemente’s latest future legend to emerge on the international surf tour.
Growing up under the tutelage of legendary mentors with the help of world-class waves in her backyard, Sawyer knows what it takes to win. Armed with explosive power and effortless style, she remains calm in the face of danger with a smile planted on her face. At the ripe old age of 17, she’s currently ranked #1 on the Women’s QS tour and recently became the youngest winner ever of the Super Girl Surf Pro competition in Oceanside. And now as our latest acquisition to the Punk & Poet family, we couldn’t be more excited to have Sawyer onboard and get to know her a little better.
So you were born and raised right here in San Clemente, how do you think that has influenced your surfing style? What’s your favorite local break and why?
Growing up in San Clemente, I was extremely fortunate enough to be able to surf with some of the best surfers in the world. Kolohe Andino, Griffin Colapinto, and Lakey Peterson are a few surfers who have definitely inspired me and helped influence my style of surfing. My Favorite local break is Lowers because of how consistent the waves are and how it is a super good wave to learn new things on.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to become a pro surfer? Did you have a stand-out moment, like, “This is it! This is what I want to do!”?
I always knew that I wanted to surf for the rest of my life, but I didn't think I would actually be able to do it as my career until I won my first WSL (QS) when I was fourteen. From that day on, I knew I wanted to become a pro surfer.
Who or what have been your biggest influences on your surfing career?
My dad and my older brother have been the biggest influences on my surfing career. They were the ones who first taught me how to surf and have always pushed me to be the best person that I can be in and out of the water.
Last fall, you became the youngest winner of the SuperGirl Pro. Congrats by the way… but what was that competition like for you? Did you have a particular type of strategy or were you just kinda winging it?
Thank you! Yeah, before the contest, the waves were really good so I was surfing a ton and I wasn't really thinking too much about the contest. When the contest came around, I was just really focused on surfing my absolute best and giving it my all. I had gotten two second places in the contests prior to the SuperGirl, so I was extra hungry to win.
Going up against a veteran like Caroline Marks in the final, what goes through your head before an important heat like that? How do you stay calm… or do you?
Going into the final, I knew that to beat Caroline, I would have to surf my absolute best without making any mistakes. I felt like I stayed pretty calm because I had already surfed so many heats that day, and I knew what the waves were like and what I needed to do to get good scores.
In between competitions, what’s your training regime like? Mentally and physically?
I try to stay consistent in my training regime by surfing everyday and working out at least three times a week. I also like to do other things like playing tennis with my friends or walk my dog down to the beach to watch the sunset.
You’ve already made history at such an early stage in your surfing career, what are some of your long-term goals? And how do you stay inspired?
Some of my long-term goals are to continue to work hard and, in the next couple of years, be competing on the world tour. Also, competing in the 2028 summer Olympics in my home state of California would be another one of my long-term goals. I stay inspired by constantly working on improving my surfing and enjoying all of the beautiful places I get to travel to.
If you had any advice for your younger self, what would it be?
Probably just to have fun and enjoy the journey.
Lastly, what does “Stitched Different” mean to you? "
Stitched Different" to me is being your unique self and creating your own path in life.