Titus Santucci, an 18-year-old surfer from San Diego, California, has become the first Filipino American man to qualify for the U.S. Junior National Surf Team.
Starting young: Santucci, whose parents are both surfers, began riding the waves of Encinitas, California at the age of 9.
“My dad would push me in the waves, and so did my mom,” he told CBS8. “It was cool to bring me into the surfing world and teach me everything I knew.”
Making waves and history: Santucci earned his spot on the prestigious U.S. Junior National Surf Team after nearly a decade of honing his skills and competing in various surf competitions.
“It’s super cool to represent my culture,” he was quoted saying. “It’s cool to have the Filipino community and my family behind me.”
Racking up awards: His journey to success includes recent victories such as the Scholastic/Sportsmanship Award at the Scholastic Surf Series High School State Surfing Championships and the championship title at the 2023 West Coast Regional champions in the Explorer Mens (all ages) competition. He also secured 4th place in the Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series Under 16 boys’ category in 2021.
The global stage: Santucci and his fellow surfers on the U.S. Junior National Surf Team are gearing up for their next major competition at the International Surfing Association’s Junior National Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The prestigious event will feature surfers from more than 50 countries.
To make their dream a reality, the team is raising funds for travel, food and other expenses via the portal FlipCause, where it has so far raised $4,715 from 43 supporters, as of this writing.
“Unlike most other countries, our National Team does not receive any government funding,” Santucci wrote on the campaign page. “Our dream of winning team GOLD for the USA is highly dependent on the support and generosity of people like you to help fund our efforts.”