When the other World Junior Championships start in Piha, New Zealand, there are plenty of young American surfers clawing away for the title, or a gold medal, if you will. Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin, Evan Geiselman, Courtney Conolgue are the most recognizable.But on the women's side of there may be a dark horse that's galloping in undercover. During the swell last weekend I had the good fortune of spending some time shooting up around Santa Barbara and Ventura. Obviously there was some good surfing going on, especially at Rincon. But standing out in a lineup full of men was 15-year-old Lakey Peterson.
Pint-sized Peterson could very well shatter some surfers dreams down in New Zealand. Just days before she departed for the event she put on a radical display of above-the-lip surfing that's rarely seen on the women's circuit. Getting waves during a swell at Rincon is a task for everyone, but she managed to get a few and took full advantage of what she rode. The locals there refer to her as the "Surf Ninja," so remember, if you see her up on the podium you heard it here first.