by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Alan Smith Photography

Catching Waves

student_engel2Torrey Pines High School freshman Ari Engel can most often be found in the ocean searching for the perfect wave. Ari has been surfing since he was nine years old and has been competing in the sport for the past two years. “Since the time I started surfing, I’ve been hooked,” revealed Ari. In 2017, he surfed 509 times, and he is on his way to beating that record in 2018. “My goal is to surf 550 times in 2018,” he said.

Ari earned the title of Revolt Summer Surf Series (RSSS) Champion last October, an accomplishment he worked hard to achieve. “I was super stoked to be RSSS champ. I surfed many challenging locations and trained really hard for the championship series,” stated Ari, who also competed in the Western Surfing Association and National Scholastic Surfing Association competitions. He is a member of the Torrey Pines Surf Team and enjoys hanging out with his teammates and admires their surfing talents.


Name: Ari Engel (14)
School: Torrey Pines High School
Grade: 9
Parents: Duncan and Latifa
Sibling: Samina (16)
Favorite Local Spot: Del Mar 15th Street

student_engel4Although one of Ari’s favorite local spots is in Del Mar at 15th Street, he is no stranger to the waves up and down the state of California and beyond. “I really appreciate my dad for taking me all the way from Northern California down to Ensenada, Mexico to catch waves. His support has helped me get to where I am today,” Ari shared. In addition to his family, Ari is inspired by surfing legend Kelly Slater. “Kelly is by far the world’s best surfer and worked really hard throughout his surfing career,” said Ari, whose biggest goal besides surfing as much as possible is to make the World Tour of Surfing.

Out of the water, Ari enjoys his auto tech and video film classes at Torrey Pines High School, skateboarding, off-road racing, and eating tacos with his friends. However, he is most at home in the water, catching great waves and getting better at his sport.student_engel3