Tayler Brothers, 20, of Osprey, got his first boogie board for his fifth birthday and has not been off his surfboard since. For the past 15 years, Brothers has been competing in surf competitions at the junior pro level all over the country. In 2011, Brothers’ personal goal was to qualify for Worlds, and he achieved his goal. In May he will head to Australia to compete with the best surfers under 20 from all over the world.
How long have you been surfing?
I’ve been surfing for 15 years. I got into it because my brother, Gavin, started surfing and my dad used to surf in Virginia Beach when he was little. My brother picked it up, and I just wanted to do everything he did.
When did you become a junior pro?
I’ve been competing as a junior pro for last four or five years. Junior pro is for people 20 and under and it is made up of the top 100 surfers in that age group. There is a 12-contest tour and the contests are everywhere. My goal last year was to finish fifth or better to qualify for Worlds. I got the fifth spot, and they only take five surfers from the US.
What kind of board do you ride?
My board is a DHD. It is actually an Australian company. I love them, and I just started riding their boards early last year.
Do you have a favorite surfing memory?
Probably my first big title win. I was 10, and I won the NSSA Easterns. I was over the moon.
Is there somewhere you would love to surf that haven’t yet?
Indonesia. You can take boat trips into the Sumatra Islands, and they have the best waves in the world. I would love to take my friends on a boat and score the best waves in the world.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Never, ever give up, especially with surfing contests. You never know until the horn blows, because anything can happen. The ocean is unreliable. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy.