Lucas Senkbeil-Cassity has been building a reputation over the past year in the southern California surfing community.
With his long surfer styled blonde hair, and his mature but quiet disposition, the 13-year-old has been a force in the water. He has been a regular finalist and champion in his usual 14-under division through-out 2021 and early on in 2022. But over the past few months, Cassity has been close to un-stoppable.
His latest run began in the Ripcurl Grom Search, where found himself in the finals of the 14-under and 16-under divisions.
After falling just short to winner Will Deane from Florida in the 14U division, he regrouped and took the championship in the 16under age bracket.
The win put him into the Grom Search championship event at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore in December.
A few weeks later, the Lucas show went to the USA Surfing Championships at Lower Trestles. Once again, he qualified for the finals in both age groups. This time he would not fall short.
In the 14-under division, Senkbeil dominated in the semis with a heat total of 18.93.
His last two scoring waves were a 9.0 and a near perfect 9.93. Once in the final, he opened with a 9.0 and then coasted to a heat total of 18, topping runner up Quaid Fahrion, who totaled a 13.83.
With just a short rest to prepare himself, he then took on a stellar field in the 16-under division. Hawaiian stars Ryland Beavers, Dorian Jackson and local standout Cannon Carr rounded out the finals competitors.
Just as the heat began, Senkbeil-Cassity made a decision that showed maturity beyond his years. It also won him the competiton.
Ready to jump on the first big wave he saw, he won a paddle battle, going around one opponent in the blink of an eye, caught the wave and rode it to a 9.5 score giving him the early lead and the confidence he needed.
"Going into the 16 under final, i just wanted to take advantage of surfing the firing lowers and hoped to catch a sick right and have fun riding it," he said. "On that first exchange i saw the second wave of the set was going to be amazing so i tried my hardest to catch it. "
His lead held up the whole heat with a 7.1 sealing the title later in the heat. He topped runner up Jackson Dorian 16.6 to 14.83.
The 13-year old was now a double national champion.
"Winning two national titles in one event means a lot to me. It means my hard work and dedication has paid off," Senkbeil said. "It also means my contest skills and surfing level were good enough to be able to compete against the best in the US and Hawaii. I'm really stoked to take the win in both divisions."
What would he do for an encore ?
He only went out the next week and took the NSSA National Championship in the 14-under division at Huntington Beach.
His success has proved that no matter what age group he tackles, Senkbeil-Cassity is one to beat and a surfer on the rise.