When it comes to the waves, little Elijah Jones is a force to be reckoned with.

Despite being two years younger than some of the strongest young surfers that Wales has to offer, Elijah scooped third prize in the Welsh National Surfing Championships for under 14s at Freshwater West this weekend.

The slightly-statured 12-year-old lined up alongside two dozen towering 14-year-olds to surf his way to glory through one heat, a semi-final and the overall final.

“It was incredible to see him,” said proud dad Jonathan Jones. “He may be smaller than the rest, but his commitment and love for surfing is something else.”

Elijah spent his early years in Cape Verde on the west Coast of Africa.

“And this probably explains his love of water sports, as neither myself nor my wife know the first thing about surfing,” laughs Jonathan.

“But water sports is a big thing along the west coast of Africa so naturally this was something that Elijah was encouraged to do from a very young age.”

And needless to say, Elijah and his surfboard took to the Atlantic Ocean like a duck to water.

When his parents, Jonathan and Alison, decided to leave Cape Verde and return to their former home in Tycroes, Ammanford, the surfboard remained an essential item in Elijah’s luggage.

Despite living a fair distance away from the coast, he regularly travels to the Pembrokeshire Surf School at Newgale and has additional training sessions all over the country whenever time allows.

His main coach is Phil Sadler. Elijah is also a member of the RNLI surf club at Porthmawr Surf Lifesaving Club in Whitesands.

“I’m his glorified taxi driver,” continued Jonathan. “But seeing how much Elijah gets back from it, and watching him spend so much time outdoors makes it all worthwhile.”

Meanwhile Elijah is learning to juggle life as a Year 7 student at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman with the surfing competition calendar.

Later this summer he will be competing in New Quay Cornwall however, if the weather conditions are favourable, his surfing season will continue well into the winter.

“As long as the enthusiasm is there, we’ll continue supporting him all the way,” added Jonathan.