Surfing Kryger kids are a triple threat on the waves


When third-graders at Cline Elementary School saw the newspapers that Chase, Connor and Isabelle Krygerbrought back from Australia for "show and tell" last month, they read about the 8-year-old Friendswood triplets' success at a world surfing competition.

"They were, like, 'Wow, you're really good surfers!' " said Chase.

Isabelle placed third among girls in her age group, while Connor was 12th and Chase 15th among 8-year-old boys in the BL's Blast Off surfing festival on Sept. 22-25 north of Sydney.

"The competition was fierce, and this year the waves were over 8 feet high on some days," said their father, Matt Kryger.

The festival, designed and organized by 1988 world surfing champion Barton Lynch, hosts the largest "pre-junior" surfing competition in the world, Kryger said.

Said Conner, "They judge you on the length of the ride, speed and tricks."

He enjoys working on surfing maneuvers called floaters and cutbacks.

"It mostly feels like you're flying, kind of," he said.

"It's easy once you stand on your board and the water pushes you," his sister said. "If you pick the right wave, you get more speed, instead of one that's mushy and stuff."

The triplets started surfing when they were 3 years old, said their mother, Jorja, who grew up in Clear Lake.

"The water was ankle-deep and we taught them balance on the board."

"I am an avid surfer," Matt Kryger said, "and Jorja loves the beach; so it seemed like a great sport for them to get into. I don't think there's a better sport for exercise. You get a full-blown workout."

The Krygers usually practice in Galveston.

"We travel about four times a year to Hawaii and/or Costa Rica to practice on bigger waves," said Matt Kryger, whose job as a pilot at United Airlines grants them free travel benefits.

The triplets also compete in Texas Gulf Coast Surfing Association events held in Galveston, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas and South Padre.

"This past season, Connor finished the season ranked first in the 9-and-under boys/girls combined division, while Isabelle finished second and Chase finished fourth for the year," their dad said. "The kids also do summer swim team, and they love riding bikes and skateboarding."

In fact, riding "cement waves" at area skateboard parks is excellent practice for surfing, Kryger said.

"A lot of times, the surf is flat on the Gulf Coast; so it's better to practice at skateparks. They're like huge, empty swimming pools."

Chase said he also enjoys reading, Connor likes math and Isabelle's favorite subject in school is science.

"Our teacher gave us a big binder of homework we took to Australia," Connor said.

Their classmates followed the triplets' progress at the world surfing competition through email and social media.

Jorja, who works part-time as a physical therapist, added that the triplets developed a lesson about Australia that they presented to their class.

"We haven't decided where their next competitions will be," Matt Kryger said.

"We will probably start traveling to California a lot more to compete on that scene."

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