Santa Barbara surfers Vela Mattive and Jak Ziets have been named to USA Surfing Junior Team that will compete at the International Surfing Association World Junior Championships in El Salvador, May 27-June 5.
Mattive was picked to the three-member Girls U16 team and Ziets to the Boys U16 squad.
Ziets is currently ranked second and Mattive third in their respective divisions of the USA Surfing West age-group rankings.
The entire team consists of 12 surfers competing in boys and girls U18 and U16 divisions.
“This is a talented team prepared to take on the world’s best next month in El Salvador,” said coach Ryan Simmons. “I am very proud of the work they put in to push their performances to the next level. Each surfer knows what an honor it is to surf for their country and give it their all to clinch a repeat team Gold Medal.”
Simmons coached the junior team to the first-ever ISA World Junior Championship gold medal in Oceanside in 2015. He still has the flag from the historic win and takes it to team practices for inspiration to carry on the tradition.
The ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the largest junior surfing competition in the world, with more than 300 surfers from 45 nations.
Here is the full USA roster:
Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
Lilie Kulber, Los Angeles, Calif.
Talia Swindal, Malibu, Calif.
Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.
Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif.
Kyan Yang, Encinitas, Calif.
Bella Kenworthy, San Clemente, Calif.
Sara Freyre, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Vela Mattive, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Cannon Carr, San Clemente, Calif.
Kai Kushner, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Jak Ziets, Santa Barbara, Calif.