Meet Sergio Lima and Hadassah Sage Lima. They’re a father and daughter living in Hawaii. They like to go to the beach together.
They’re also surfing sensations. Hadassah is only nine months old and has already mastered the waves, heading out to surf in tandem with her dad every day on the north shore of Oahu.
Hadassah tried surfing for the first time when she was just four months old.
Now she’ll happily stand on the board (with some assistance, sure) or on her dad’s outstretched hand as they surf the waves.
Her mum, Carly, had surfed until she was 38 weeks pregnant.
‘Even when I was pregnant Hadassah loved it,’ said Carly. ‘It was the only time she actually was still and at peace in the belly.
‘She first went into the ocean at four weeks, then when she was four and a half months Sergio put her on a Stand Up paddle board with her sitting between his legs.
‘It was love at first surf. She had just learned to sit up – she was this tiny baby and I was on a board next to them and very nervous.’
But even on her first try, it was clear Hadassah was a total natural.
‘Hadassah kept wanting to go faster as Sergio paddled her around, so he decided to paddle out to the line-up at Pua’ena Point and try and catch a wave with her,’ said Carly.
‘She was giggling and kept trying to get in the water and loved it when a wave splashed her in the face. They ended up getting two waves and she couldn’t stop smiling.’
Now that she’s a little older, Hadassah is able to do incredible tricks with her dad on the board. The pair have become mini celebrities around the area, with surfers and beachgoers stopping to watch as Hadassah and Sergio balance and pose.
And don’t worry, she’s totally safe.
Sergio is very experienced in the water, runs a surfing school, and Carly says he’s a ‘very cautious person’.
‘I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do what he does,’ she said. ‘He reads each wave and knows the risks and is very picky with which wave he will actually take her on.
‘He looks for people around, the size and steepness of the wave, how many waves are coming behind them. They have never fallen, or even come close.’
Sergio says that surfing with his daughter is an incredible experience.
‘What I love most is seeing her happiness as we take off on a wave together,’ he explained. She flaps her arms and squeals with joy and it just makes my heart want to burst.
‘I love to be able to share my passion and knowledge for the ocean with her and to be able to watch her thrive.
‘Being a father has been the best experience in my life so far and I can’t wait to learn and grow with my daughter.’