A teenager from Cornwall has come home to a hero’s welcome after winning the junior world championship in Australia during the Easter half term. Lukas Skinner, from Perranporth, beat competitors from around the world to win the World Grom Search Finals Down Under and now his dad, 11-time European longboard surfing champion Ben Skinner, believes that’s just the beginning for his lad.
The young surfing sensation said being the first British surfer to hold the title was “special” and a “surreal” experience. He said the win is often seen as the traditional “start of every world champs career”, following in the wake of the likes of world champions Gabriel Medina and Stephanie Gilmore.
He told the BBC: “It was so good to go to Australia for the first time and just experience new things, it was so surreal, I was surfing with the best surfers in the world and to be around them, it was the best thing I could ask for.”
Lukas was also crowned the U16 champion at the Rip Curl Grom Search European Final 2023 in Morocco in February. He also came second in the English Championships held at Fistral North beach in Newquay at the weekend behind his mate Luke Dillon.
The pair took turns sharing the lead in the event final which was held at Fistral in Newquay at the weekend. The pair are now hoping for a place in the Olympics in 2024.
Lukas Skinner, 15, from Perranporth, Cornwall with his dad 11-times European longboard champion Ben Skinner and the World Grom Search Finals trophy he won during the Easter holidays in Australia (Image: BBC)
Lukas’ dad Ben – son of Skinner’s Brewery founder Steve – said he believed his son has what it takes to surf at the 2028 Olympics. He said: “We’re just so proud of him, he’s just achieving everything that he puts his mind to, got some big dreams and goals and just keeps going all the way.
“I think 2028 is a huge possibility for Lukas to make it to the Olympics, I think this is proof of what he’s just achieved.” ~ Ben Skinner.