It was all smiles for fearless 13-year-old Annika Ringer, who was determined to get out on the waves with the help of a local surf instructor and his goats this week in Pismo Beach.
Annika met instructor Dana McGregor at his "Beautifully-Abled" Surf Camp. McGregor says he puts on the surf camp for "kids and adults that have special needs."
At camp, Annika didn't catch a wave, but McGregor was determined to get her surfing and with the help of one of his famous surfing goats.
Annika said her favorite part about the experience was, in fact, the goats.
Life has not always been easy for the eighth-grader.
"Annika has Down syndrome and when she was born, she had a congenital heart defect and a stomach anomaly. She had basically four surgeries before three years old," said Renee Frogge, Annika's mother.
Getting out in the water and conquering the waves has been something Annika's father, Adi Ringer, says has been empowering to watch.
"She wiped out, got up, did it again. I'm so proud of her. She tries. She's just a go-getter," he said.
"She's has a lot of challenges in her short life, so it's beautiful to see her not only overcome those challenges but go further and do something many do not have the courage to do," Frogge said.
Annika said she had a great day surfing and that she "loved" her experience out in the Pismo waves.
McGregor will also be hosting another "Beautifully-Abled" surf camp on November 7. You can visit his website for more information.