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At six, Quincy Symonds is already tipped as a future Layne Beachley or Stephanie Gilmore.
They call her The Flying Squirrel. She may well be the best six-year-old surfer and skater on the planet. Prepare to be gobsmacked.
Stepping into the water at the legendary Snapper Rocks surf break on the Gold Coast, it is easy to forget that the person I’m here to film has just turned six.
Quincy Symonds (aka The Flying Squirrel, we’ll get to the nickname later) is quite possibly the world’s best six-year-old surfer and skater. The Tweed Heads local only started surfing about 18 months ago and, in a very short time, has captured the attention of the surfing world, gained multiple sponsors and garnered a fanatical following on social media.
Her parents are right behind her, but they're not pushy "stage parents". Quincy’s dad Jake has been a surfer most of his life and his love for the ocean inspired her to get in the water. Her mum Kim says it was the most natural thing in the world.
“The very first time I saw her out in the ocean she changed, she became a complete person,” she explains. “To say that about a four or five-year-old might sound very strange, but I watched it happen.”
“It just doesn’t make sense to me, how she’s able to do what she does,” says Jake. “I’m amazed by it. I’m really proud of it but, to be honest, I can’t comprehend how she does it.”
“She has no fear,” offers Quincy’s coach Anthony Pope. “And she just doesn’t fall off. She has incredible balance and her ability to judge the conditions and adjust is at a level I’ve never seen in someone her age.”
While Quincy’s feats in the water are impressive on their own, they are even more inspiring given that she has battled a serious medical condition for her entire life.
Not long after she was born, she was rushed into the Intensive Care Unit suffering adrenal crisis. After extensive testing, Quincy was diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a genetic disorder that affects her body’s ability to create cortisone.
Quincy’s condition means she is steroid dependent. “Steroid dependency at this age requires medication three times a day,” Kim explains. “In times of sickness, Quincy needs intensive medical treatment.”
READ MORE OF QUINCY'S STORY AT ABC OPEN