He's taken to the water quite nicely since then.

O'Regan, who just completed his freshman year at Middletown High School, has surfed in Costa Rica, in Florida, and at Banzai Pipeline in O'ahu — the waves so large he could feel the beach shake when they crashed.

He recently won the ESA Northeast Regionals open men's division contest in New Hampshire.

Indeed, O'Regan is fully immersed in the surf circuit, 2012. A lot of road trips to tournaments. A lot of time in hotels with his dad.

The locals have high hopes for him. But they're the first to say it: the future, for a Rhode Island surfer on the make, is elsewhere.

O'Regan seems to know that. He talks of going to college in California or Hawaii. But that's still a few years off. For now, home is Rhode Island. Home is surfing with his friends in the cold, blue water.

And that's pretty great.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at  dscharfenberg@phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @d_scharfenberg.

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