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Student-Surfers: Changing an Image

What a nice surprise to read your story (View, Aug. 29) about surfer-honor student Jeff Booth and the National Scholastic Surfing Assn. I believe that it is great to break up stereotypes whenever possible.

Since our 14-year-old son surfs, we were also concerned at one time with the worry: if he surfs, he will be a bum.

He is not a bum nor does he intend to be one--and neither do his friends. Their parents support them and their interests, and many drive them to competitions at 5 and 6 o’clock in the morning.

I believe that the association has done a tremendous job in raising the standards away from the “bum” image. It has very high standards of sportsmanship, skill levels and personal behavior. At the association’s meets, I have observed and met many professional people in different fields--such as school principals, engineers and artists--and I am told that former Orange County Superior Court Judge Bruce Sumner still surfs. These are people who we feel are good role models for our son and his friends.

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I think Jeff Booth is such a great kid. He has parents who guide him with love, respect and kindness.

There are many fine people in the world of surfing. I wish more people would take the time to discover that for themselves. I was so pleased to see you share this good news with others.

PEGGY DARNELL

Corona del Mar

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