Surfing phenom Jared Gogue back home from competition - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Surfing phenom Jared Gogue back home from competition

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Totally rad, bro.

Jared Gogue enjoying the holidays back home where the surfer, affectionately known as "J Rad" on the local surf scene, is taking a break from competing in California in Western Surfing Association and World Surf  League events.

Gogue has been consistently placing in the top 5 in contests in the Oceanside and Huntington Beach areas, including two first-place finishes in Oceanside and San Diego's Revolt Summer Series.

For Gogue, catching a plane to Cali to pursue his dreams was a leap of faith that is paying off.

"Follow your dreams while you're still young," Gogue says. "Get after it, you only got one life man; you got to do what you love to do. Moving out there felt really good, just representing Guam and being happy everyday because I'm doing what I want to do."

The transition wasn't easy. He had to hit the water running. With stiff competition from Brazil, Peru, Venezuela and of course the US, Gogue had to learn the breaks quickly - especially since Guam surf spots  are more predictable than Cali's waves.

"It's all beach breaks, it's all sand bar, so the sand's always changing. So at different tides one spot will be good and an hour later that same spot will not be doing it, so you got to keep moving around," Gogue said.

With Gogue representing the 671, he's trying to win against surfers from around the globe, even though most of his competition couldn't find Guam on a map.

"They always get Guam mixed up like 'Guam, you mean Guatemala?' - I'm like no, no," Gogue said. "Guam is part of the Marianas islands, we're close to the Philippines, close to Japan and when I tell them how big it is, they always like 'What? No way? You moved all the way to California and you're the only one doing it?' They're really stoked for me."

Gogue credits his dad and local surfers for inspiring him to get better. He says his style is what he saw in the lineup growing up. Being home for the holidays, Gogue was able to hit the surf and catch some winter swell, and although he was glad to get back in Guam's waters, in some ways it was a hard welcome home.

"The waves out here are a lot more powerful, I'd say. I got a couple beatings already, hit the reef - my knee's all tweaked out right now. Just from the power of surfing, I broke two boards already - two brand new boards - so you can tell we got some PAK to our waves," Gogue said.

Gogue says since he's been competitive in the states, other surfers from Guam - including Noa Mendiola - have a good chance to win overseas. It's just a matter of how hard you want to train - both in and out of the surf.

Gogue has competed in different brackets - both for his age group and in men's open divisions, too. His goal for the New Year - continue winning and get on the WSL's world tour.

"I'm just trying to get enough points regionally in California, to be able to get into the bigger contests, to be able to try and get on that tour," Gogue said. "Hopefully I'll get on that top 100 and start grinding out with the best in the world."

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