California dreaming!

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The 22-year-old longboarder, who now lives in Newquay, Cornwall, will join the ranks of the Freespirit British Surf team at Huntington Beach, California, between 14 and 22 October.

Having had his first taste of the surf in St Ouen’s Bay when little more than a toddler and then dedicating his time to becoming one of the best multi-talented surfers around, Skinner is clearly delighted about his selection as the sole longboarder in the team.

‘It’s such an honour,’ he said, ‘a dream come true.

I’ll be concentrating on my surf and fitness training so I’ll be in the very best of form for California.

To be surfing with the UK’s top competitors against the best surfers in the world is going to be an amazing experience.’ Skinner, winning his second cap, teams up with the cream of the UK’s surf and bodyboarding talent, including Alan Stokes, Bethan Mason, Mark Harris, Robyn Davies, Sam Lamiroy, Johnny Fryer, Damie Prisk, Bjorn Storey and Gemma Harris.

Karen Walton, national director of the British Surfing Association said: ‘Ben is one of the few surfers who can make the transition between a long and short board and be so strong in both at the highest levels.

We’re looking forward to seeing him develop even further from here.’ Skinner has been a professional surfer since leaving Jersey as a 16-year-old, but still surfs for Jersey in any European competitions.

‘I’m always proud to represent Jersey,’ said the Oxbow-backed surfer, who was raised in the British Union pub in St Lawrence when his dad Steve was the publican.

The former Victoria College pupil still has strong contacts with the Island and will be helping Jersey youngsters in the UK this weekend.

The Jersey Surfboard Club AIB Academy surfers will be in action in the Billabong Junior Surfing championships in Bude, Cornwall, and Skinner will be helping David Ferguson, the junior surfing director, coach the team.

Skinner also helps coach the De La Salle Surf Club.

The Jersey squad, who will be tackling 6 to 8-ft surf conditions at Bude, is as follows: Under 12: Ben Bates, Bradley Ferguson, Freddie Seymour.

U14: Matt Chapman, Nathan Elms, Sam Mason, Alex Vibert, Delia Baker.

U16: Jake Powell, Jake Elms, Will Glenn, James Vautier, Joe Baker.

U18: Josh Letherbarrow (captain), Justin Faulkner, Stephanie Seymour, Grace Davies, Delia Baker.

Also travelling with Dave Ferguson is Andy Cummins, Jason Donaldson and Steve Donnelly.

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