The alarm clock rings at 5 a.m. and Frankie Seely’s morning begins. Rolling out of bed and straight into her wetsuit, Seely pursues her passion for the sport of surfing without hesitation. Or as she calls it, the art of surfing. The 15-year-old sophomore from Malibu High School surfs six to seven days a week from as close as First Point in Malibu to as far south as San Diego.
“Surfing means letting go of any problems and just having fun,” Seely said. “You don’t have to worry about anything. You are close to nature. There is a whole different world out there. It’s pretty exciting to me.”
Surfing since the age of two, Seely has been mentored and taught the nuances of surfing by her father, Mitt. Together, father and daughter travel up and down the coast daily in search of the perfect wave. They have formed a bond that not even the harshest of waves could separate.
“Surfing is an adventure every morning,” Mitt said. “We are almost best friends when it comes to surfing. We go on adventures every day together.”
The routine for Seely is as common as brushing her teeth each day. At around 9 p.m. every night, Seely goes on her computer and checks out surfline. com. Searching for large swells and strong currents can be a work of art in itself. Seely’s inner hunch and forecasting prowess could send her and Mitt to Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz or Trestles at San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County the very next morning.
“She has friends in almost every city from San Francisco down to the border,” said Mitt, who has surfed for more than 30 years. “We find out through her friends and surfline where the best place is for surfing.”
Once Seely finds the beach of her choice, she tells her dad the desired location, and by 10 p.m. lights are out and the trip is set. Seven hours later, father and daughter are off to surf for the day.
“My relationship with my dad is very close. We are like two peas in a pod. We surf almost every day together,” Seely said.
Seely credits Mitt with not only learning how to surf but understanding how surfing and life are intertwined.
“He told me that no matter how bad the waves are or how good they are, you always come out learning something,” Seely explained. “The way you approach your surfing is how you should approach your life. Be serious, have things in order and achieve your goals in life. That’s what I hope to do.”
Alexis, Frankie’s mother, introduced her to yoga, which has aided in her surfing development.
“I think it has helped her to become more focused and to be calm in competition,” Alexis said. “It has helped in her general physical well-being. She’s more flexible too. It’s been good for her.”
Seely is thankful for her parents’s support, whether accompanying her on surfing trips or recommending new hobbies.
“My parents support me in everything I do and I love them very much,” Seely said.
As a young child, Seely would watch Bruce Brown’s 1966 surf documentary “The Endless Summer” and admire surfer, Robert August, one of the main subjects of the film.
Recently, Robert August Surfboards of Huntington Beach decided to sponsor Seely because of her accomplishments in the Western Surfing Association. It was only fitting that Seely received a brand new longboard from Robert August on Dec. 23. What a Christmas gift it was for Seely.
“She was a kid in a candy shop. She was so happy,” Mitt said. “She grew up watching Robert August films and wanted to emulate his style and that kind of surfing. Frankie is definitely old school on the longboard but new school with the shortboard. She has the best of both worlds.”
Five-time surfing world champion Stephanie Gilmore and longboard star Kassia Meador are both influential people in Seely’s life. She aspires to compete at the highest level of surfing as she continues her rapid development as one of the best young female surfers in California.
“Frankie could make it. She needs to put a little more effort into it,” Mitt said. “After this we will see if she could take it to a national level.”
As for her future plans, Seely hopes to head out on competitive tours.
“After high school, I am hoping to go on the Association of Surfing Professional longboard world tour. I also want to get better in the shortboard and maybe get on the ASP shortboard world tour too,” said Seely, who is also a member of the MHS surf team. “What drives me is getting better at surfing. The better you are at surfing the more determined you are in life. It’s a great lesson I learned from my dad.”
Seely will participate in the Longboard Club-Surfers Coalition Contest on Jan. 5-6 at Trestles.
Then it’s back on to the computer at 9 p.m. in search of the next great adventure. Endless surfing and loving it.