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San Clemente Journal

Sawyer Lindblad Winner of the Super Girl Pro

Mar 07, 2023 08:39AM ● By Rebecca Parsons

Sawyer Lindblad is on the fast track to success.

by Rebecca Parsons

Born and raised in San Clemente, Sawyer Lindblad tested her hand at multiple sports growing up. Lindblad’s dad taught her and her brother how to surf when they were young and the family spent a lot of their free time at the beach, riding waves and having fun. In addition to surfing, Sawyer played soccer and tennis competitively. When she was twelve, she landed her first surf sponsor and decided to put her other activities on the backburner and put her full focus into surfing.  

 Lindblad first started surfing competitively when she was 10 years old—she found the idea of competitive surfing super fun and it was an exciting experience for her. She started off in the WSA push-in division and after a year, she progressed to NSSA and USA contests. In 2020, at age 14, she entered her first World Surf League Qualifying Series (QS) event, the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach. Despite the fact that it was her first time competing in a QS contest, she won the entire event.

“I was just focusing on having fun and getting practice competing against the older girls in the contest,” Sawyer says. “I surprised myself when I ended up winning, and I realized that I wanted to see how far I could go with my surfing.”

After winning her first ever WSL event, she knew she wanted to pursue a career as a professional surfer. She began competing on the Challenger Series in 2021 with a goal of someday qualifying for the Championship Tour (CT).

The World Surf League CT is the premier league in surfing, in which the best surfers in the world compete for a world title. In order to qualify for the CT, female surfers must finish in the top five on the Challenger Series, a challenging feat. 

“This was my second year competing in the CS and it's been a really crazy and fun experience,” says the 17-year-old. “I'm still really young, so these first couple of years I'm mainly focused on learning and improving my surfing. But qualifying for the CT is definitely a goal of mine.”
For someone simply focused on learning and improving, Lindblad had some seriously impressive performances over the course of the 2022 season. She snagged a couple of wins at a some of the QS events and landed a fifth place finish at the CS event, the EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira. But her most impressive performance of the year was at the Super Girl Pro in Oceanside. 

Established in 2007, the Super Girl Pro is a unique surf contest: it’s the only large-scale, all-women’s action sports, esports, and lifestyle series in the world. The series is all about female strength and empowerment and showcases women in action sports through five, exciting festivals.

The Oceanside event began with 96 competitors hitting the water but on final’s days it was Lindblad versus former Olympian and Super Girl Pro defending champion Caroline Marks. The final was a close one with both women catching waves in the remaining minutes of the heat. But ultimately, Sawyer came away victorious and was crowned the new Super Girl Pro champion and awarded the trademark cape. 

“Growing up, I always admired how the Super Girl contest was the only all-female surfing event in the world,” she says. “I remember going down to the contest when I was young and watching all my heroes compete—it was always an event that I dreamed of winning someday. When I made the final and was up against Caroline [Marks], I knew that I was going to have to surf my absolute best. To be the youngest to ever win that event feels really special and I will remember that day forever.”

A junior in high school, Lindblad has been doing online school ever since COVID, which frees up more time for surfing and training. A dedicated athlete, she surfs every day for at least three hours and works with her trainer, Stu White, twice a week in Huntington Beach. When she’s home, she typically surfs T Street and Lower Trestles. She likes how two waves are so different with one being a point break and one being a beach break and feels that the combination benefits her surfing.

“Lowers has influenced my surfing by being able to go down there during the summer and watch some of the best surfers from all over the world,” she explains. “It's such a good wave to help improve your surfing and it's helped me a lot growing up surfing out there. I feel grateful to live in San Clemente and be able to surf all year around.”

Looking forward, Sawyer plans to attend an online university once she graduates high school and hopes to study law or criminology. She also plans to qualify for the CT and someday win a world title. When Sawyer Lindblad sets her mind to something, there’s just no stopping her.