2013 Rip Curl GromSearch Kewalos

All Photos: Ryan Foley


 

It was a summer Sunday on the South Shore, and there was 2- to 4-feet of ESE trade swell bopping around under a hot sun. Eighty-four adolescents swarmed Kewalos, braving the most dangerous parking lot in the first world for a chance at GromSearch gold. 4 victories and 16 invites to the RipCurl GromSearch National Championship at Upper Trestles were on the line and did we mention it was 2- to 4-foot?

Most of the competitors had just returned from amateur contest season in California. Some looked to build on the momentum gained there, others looked to apply the lessons learned. Even for the groms who were J.O.J. (as the locals say), the early start brought forth no signs of sluggishness. The young men and women were adamantly fired up for a big day in the heat. This level of energy proved to be more than just a donut-induced sugar rush as the action never ceased. Airs were recklessly shucked over shallow reef, earning praise from both the crowd and the judges, but power surfing would reign supreme. Young Hawaiians seem to have a knack for that rail work, don’t they? 12-year-olds surfed with perfect form and 16-year-olds carved in a way that would make an accomplished 28-year-old surfer sob himself to sleep. It was one of the finest spectacles the GromSearch had ever seen. And after a long day of knotted jerseys and broken hearts, 16 invitees went home smiling. They were going back to California.

 

Words With Winners

Boys, 16U
Full Name: Seth Moniz
Age: 15
Hometown: Hawaii Kai, Oahu
Sponsors: Billabong, Dakine, Dragon, Tokoro Surfboards, Vertra
Who is the best surfer in the GromSearch? Imai Devault
Why do you like to surf? It would feel unnatural not to surf
Would you rather drive a pickup truck or a Prius? Prius
Who is the best athlete in the world? Kelly Slater
Why do you like Instagram? Everyone’s doing it nowadays, even my mom and dad. I hope someone comes up with something else pretty soon
Would you rather eat pizza or a salad? Pizza
What is your favorite non-surfing possession? Fishing/diving equipment
Who is the best surfer to never qualify for the tour? Mason Ho. It would be sick to watch him on tour. Hopefully that day will come
What is the worst popular song right now? Drake – Started From The Bottom
What is your goal in the next five years? Travel, make video parts and try to make the tour
Who is your favorite GromSearch champ? Tatiana Weston-Webb

Girls, 16U
Full Name: Dax Minnow McGill
Age: 15
Hometown: North Shore, Oahu
Sponsors: Volcom, T&C Surfboards, Electric, Banzai Bowls, Creatures of Leisure, Futures Fins, Bubble Gum Surf Wax
Who is the best surfer in the GromSearch? Little Keanu Taylor
Why do you like to surf? It’s the best feeling in the world
Would you rather drive a pickup truck or a Prius? Prius. It’s better for the environment and would be easier to navigate through the Foodland parking lot
Who is the best athlete in the world? Kaoli Kahokuloa, aka Houdini. Have you ever seen him skate?
Why do you like Instagram? Cause I love taking photos. It’s in my blood
Would you rather eat pizza or a salad? Depends on the day
What is your favorite non-surfing possession? My skateboard
Who is the best surfer to never qualify for the tour? Mitch Coleborn — he’ll qualify soon though
What is the worst popular song right now? Gangnam Style for sure
What is your goal in the next five years? Travel, progress, hopefully make the tour and most importantly, have as much fun as possible
Who is your favorite GromSearch champ? Gabriel Medina

 
Full Results:

Boys 16 & Under
1. Seth Moniz
2. Dorian Blanchard
3. Cole Alves
4. Elijah Gates

Girls 16 & Under
1. Dax McGill
2. Brisa Hennessy
3. Brittany Penaroza
4. Summer Macedo
5. Kealohi Sabate
6. Julie Nishimoto

Boys 14 & Under
1. Kaulana Apo
2. Noa Mizuno
3. Barron Mimiya
4. Loa Ng

Boys 12 & Under
1. Wyatt McHale
2. Cole Alves
3. Reef Tsutsui
4. Dylan Franzman

Mophie Maneuver of the Event
Kaulana Apo

HIC Sportsmanship Award
Diego Ferri