Delaney Spruill waited patiently on the sidelines at the Robert Strickland BMX track as her younger sister, Tracey, raced. Delaney Spruill, 14, also rides but, for her, it does not compare to surfing. She was there to support her sister, who decided to start BMX racing one year ago.
“I don’t really like sweaty sports,” Spruill said. “I just don’t like to be hot. In surfing, you stay cool. It’s just better.”
Spruill’s love for the sport comes naturally. Both of her parents surf. Her mom, Micah Spruill, was raised in Flagler Beach with a father who was an avid surfer. Dad Mike Spruill, was given a surfboard for Christmas when he was 12 and took it out on New Year’s Eve in his hometown of Poquoson, Virginia. It was snowing and the waterways there are fed by the Chesapeake Bay with an average January temperature of 40 degrees. Surfing remained a summer sport after that adventure, until he moved to Florida where his family currently surfs every day.
For the sisters, surfing evolved organically, beginning when they were pushed on their grandfather’s old surfboards as toddlers, which quickly led to standing on the boards, then surfing waves by themselves.
“First we were building sandcastles, and then all of a sudden they were body surfing out there,” Mike Spruill said. “Eventually, Delaney wanted me to bring the surfboard down to the beach.”
Even though both girls enjoy surfing, 11-year-old Tracey began to show a propensity for fast-paced sports and has decided to focus on BMX racing.
“I’m trying to get it all done and go pro in my twenties because that is a prime time to go to the Olympics. That would be really cool to surf in the Olympics.”
DELANEY SPRUILL, Ormond Beach surfer
“One day I wasn’t liking surfing very much, and my dad, who was like a big BMXer, got me interested in BMX,” she said. “So one day we just went to the track, and I tried it out.”
Delaney Spruill was 8 or 9 years old when she told her parents that she wanted to compete in the annual Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic in Flagler Beach. She was the only girl surfer and held her own against the male competitors.
“And that was it,” her mom said. “She loved it.”
Following her first competition, she participated in the Gnarly Charlie Surf Series for two years, which is geared toward teaching surfers to be excellent competitors and be confident as they progress to different levels of competitive surfing. She has since branched out to compete in the Eastern Surfing Association and National Scholastic Surfing Association events. Next on her agenda is to be invited to the USA Prime, which is an Olympic developmental league. Last year, she was invited as an alternate.
Delaney Spruill was the EcoPro 2021 Women’s Open Champion, EcoPro 2021 Girls 17U Champion, ESA NCFL 2021 Girls 16U Champion, ESA NCFL 2021 Girls 18U Champion and the May Day Memorial 2021 Women’s Pro Champion, to name a few. This year, she was the Flagler Surf Series 2022 Women’s Pro Champion.
“I’m trying to get it all done and go pro in my 20s because that is a prime time to go to the Olympics,” she said. “That would be really cool to surf in the Olympics.”