Sierra Kerr, daughter of pro surfer Josh Kerr, is following her dad's footsteps. Photo: Blackpearl @blackpearlphotography

She’s knee-high to a grasshopper but inspires thousands, starting with her 70k+ followers on Instagram. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it’s no surprise that Sierra Kerr picked up surfing and skateboarding at a young age, just like her dad Josh, pro surfer on the World Tour.

And if her last name wasn’t enough of a guarantee for talent, Sierra clearly made her mark either way. It didn’t take long before she got initiated and almost immediately hooked. A memoir from Sierra…“I started surfing when I was 5. My dad would take me out on a longboard and he would help me stand up”.

She started skateboarding at the same age, following in her older brother’s footsteps and growing to like it even better than the surf “because it’s easier with all the skateparks around and sometimes the ocean can be very cold. But I think skateboarding helps my balance and coordination with surfing”.

Four years later, now aged 10, Sierra impresses with a style and technique well beyond her years. And the little pocket rocket is still progressing at a remarkable rate! Her dad Josh confesses that she might even be better than him at the same age, particularly on a skateboard. “Sierra has always been driven and motivated at a very young age. That, along with her natural ability, made it very apparent to me early on that she was truly gifted.”

A sharp competitive spirit

Whether on surfboard or skateboard, she always executes with such energy. Fearless, she pulls into barrels twice her size and drops in bowls or ramps as deep as a two storey house. Josh notes that “it is always scary to watch her, but [he has] so much faith in her and her ability…” And when she falls? She just gives it another go. “It sometimes does hurt, but I just always get back up and keep trying”, explains Sierra.

As if talent and determination weren’t enough, she also displays a sharp competitive spirit. “For both skateboarding and surfing, I want to achieve gold in at least 2 Olympics and win the X-games”, claims the 9 year old. Unlike 11 year old Newcastle local, Sabre Norris, who has already made herself a name both as a surfer and skateboarder, Sierra isn’t worried about sacrificing one or the other to excel. “I think you can be great and talented in both sports if you put your mind to it.”

Being home-schooled as well as the daughter of a professional surfer, she’s already grown accustomed to the “surfer’s paradise” lifestyle. Sierra shares her time between Carlsbad in California, where she lives with her family, along with the rest of the world, happy to follow her dad on his “work trips” across the globe. This way, she can surf and skate new spots almost every week. Her best trips so far? “Kandui Villas in the Mentawais (a luxury surf resort), Bali and Australia. This is because the water is warm and the great waves are guaranteed.

A dream come true

For her dad Josh, witnessing Sierra’s progression is a dream come true. “Seeing her taking up the torch is all I could have wished for. Most dads dream to have a child that hold a passion for the same things as you.” However, despite being a pro surfer, his advice and comments on her surfing are not always welcome. “There is no coaching Sierra! I do try to give her hints along the way but it doesn’t go down very well (laughs). Sierra only wants to coach herself…”

Both talents are a source of inspiration for one another. Sierra, at the age of 9, has great influence on her dad. “She makes me push my limits, puts pressure on me, but most importantly makes me want to do the best I can do.” And that works both ways. “My dad and I compete with each other and we try to see who can be better. We have lots of fun doing it”. And it’s only the beginning for this power duo.

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