Jack has a strong, determined attitude along with an almost businesslike work ethic.
by Joseph Seemayer
Jack Zoltan is an 18-year-old surfer who is a standout at Ventura County beaches including the Ventura Harbor and The Point to name a few. As a competitor, Jack is committed and focused. His goal is to continue to improve as an athlete while competing against some of the best in the nation. To help achieve this goal, Jack began working with a coach about two years ago. That coach is well known, former professional surfer and Ventura resident, Mike Lamm.
Mike Lamm competed on the US Bud Pro surfing tour in the 1980’s. His passion for coaching developed during his time as an amateur and professional. Today, some of Mike’s notable coaching achievements include world tour professional Lakey Peterson, who he has coached to two National titles, a U.S. Open Jr victory and a silver medal in the ISA surfing games. In addition to Lakey, Mike has coached professional surfer Tia Blanco, an ISA gold medalist and Nick Rozsa, who he coached to the number one position on USA team and US Open Pro Jr finalist.
Locally, Mike also coaches one Jack’s biggest role models and best friend, professional surfer and Ventura native, Dimitri Polous. Jack shares that Dimitri pushes him to be a better surfer and person every day.
Some of Jack’s strengths include his focus, determination and willingness to work hard. “Jack has made massive gains and improvements in his surfing skills during this last year”, Mike states with satisfaction. As Jack’s coach, Mike said it was evident that Jack has the natural athletic ability that a coach looks for in a new student. Mike explains that Jack possesses “the intangible X-factor that coaches look for to have to have students flourish”.
Jack has a strong, determined attitude along with an almost businesslike work ethic. Mike continued, “He’s there at the crack of dawn and on time. Jack would really listen and put in the maximum amount of effort into each of his sessions”, according to Mike. All traits that are necessary to help an athlete continue to grow and achieve competitive success.”
When Jack finishes his training in the water, he then continues with running and time at the gym. “Jack really puts in the work to consistently improve”, which is mandatory for Mike.
Mike continued with Jack’s improvement as a competitor, “Jack was the only Californian competitor, in an all-Hawaiian final at the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) US National championships this year.” Besides his finals appearance and eventual fourth place finish in National Championships, Jack finished this past season ranked 4th in the nation for the NSSA Explorer juniors division, 1st in the Gold Coast Explorer juniors division and 5th Southwest Open mens divisions. An impressive season finish for this young athlete.
Since 1978, the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) mission has been to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. Nationwide, there are more than 80 NSSA events that culminate with the annual National Championships, regarded as the highest profile youth surfing event in America.
The NSSA is one of the few national youth sports organizations that requires its participants to maintain academic standards in order to compete. Since the beginning of the NSSA program, the philosophy has been that athletics and scholastics go hand in hand.
Under his coach’s guidance and with the assistance of his sponsors, Body Glove, Roberts Surfboards, Smilyn Wellness, On a Mission and A Frame Surf Shop, Jack plans on continuing competitive surfing professionally in the World Surf League (WSL) North American qualifying series.
In addition to Jack pursuing a promising professional surfing career, Jack will also be joining the Sundowners Wildland Fire Crew out of Lake Casitas.