At just 13 years old, this Kailua surfer has a national title un - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

At just 13 years old, this Kailua surfer has a national title under his belt

(Image: Rip Curl) (Image: Rip Curl)
(Image: Rip Curl) (Image: Rip Curl)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

You can add the name of Diego Ferri to Hawaii's list of up-and-coming surfers.

This weekend, the 13-year-old made his mark at the Rip Curl GromSearch surf meet taking first in his division.

"I was super nervous, especially with the pumping waves and then not being used to surfing in a full wet suit," he said.

The Kailua teenager had a wild ride to the national title at Steamer Lane surf break in Santa Cruz, CA. He clinched the win for his age group on his final wave. 

"There was literally 10 seconds left on the clock and this wave came to me, and I rode it all the way in and got the score," he said.

That score helped Diego beat out 15 other surfers from around the U.S.

His dad, Mark, was there to cheer him on while his mother held down the fort back home.

"I got a text from my girl friend saying he won! Then I tried to tell anybody who was near me, 'Oh, my gosh! He Won!'" Wendy Ferri said.

The youngster started surfing when he was just 4 years old. His parents say he's always been an intense competitor who is also really good at skateboarding. 

"In skateboarding, we would be there until 10 o'clock at night," Wendy Ferri said. "Then he was the kid that was surfing past sunset. He's pretty much all in."

His parents are all in too.

Diego is home schooled so he can spend more time surfing. And he has a personal trainer who helps him with balance and leg strength, which is vital for his surfing style because Diego is shorter than most of the kids he competes against. 

"He just keeps going and he keeps working and he gets to these moments like this. It's all worth it," Wendy Ferri said.

Diego thinks winning the Rip Curl GromSearch national title has made him more confident and, even at his young age, more certain that he's on the right track.

"Be a professional surfer is my goal. Hopefully, that works out," he said.

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