Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

fa­ther as he nails half pipes and kick­flip tricks like it’s sec­ond na­ture.

TJ is just eight-and-a-half years old, but has al­ready been sin­gled out by the Venice skate­board­ing com­mu­nity as a po­ten­tial Olympics con­tender.

“TJ’s train­ing for the Olympics al­ready?” I ask our tour guide, Dan Levy from Juice Magazine, also a keen skate­boarder.

“Dude!” he replies, “Every­one’s train­ing for the Olympics right now.”

I make a men­tal note to look out for TJ’s name in 10 years’ time.

I no­tice the su­per-cool skate­board­ing col­lec­tive whizzing past with ocean wind in their hair don’t look like they’re work­ing out, but they all have calf mus­cles of steel. men­tion my nerves, are put to the test as we try out an­other of the new-to-be Olympic sports for our­selves; surf­ing.

We drive for half an hour along the Pa­cific Coast High­way over to surf mecca Mal­ibu for a les­son with Aqua Surf School on Surfrider Beach. Lessons are from around £90 for 90 min­utes.

Be­ing a big fan of the ocean but a wimp when it comes to deep wa­ter, I’ve al­ready de­cided to bow out and watch. But in­fec­tious in­struc­tors Allen King and Jack­son Englund have other ideas.

They point-blank refuse to let me miss out.

“The waves are be­yond mel­low to­day, trust me,” Allen re­as­sures, and then jok­ingly tells me to “man up”.

Hav­ing just re­turned from Hawaii where the waves were “gnarly” (yes, this surf lan­guage is alive and kick­ing), Allen ex­plains that Mal­ibu and Santa Mon­ica are ideal for be­gin­ners, but the wilder win­ter months are bet­ter suited to in­ter­me­di­ate level and up­wards.

Still think­ing about it, I tug on my

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