Griffin, (Almost) All Grown Up


Griffin Colapinto is a big kid.

I mean this in the literal sense and the metaphorical. He’s both a large teenager and an adolescent goofball. He both giggles at The Wiggles and manhandles J Bay. He’s both up-and-coming and already arrived.

The rise of Griffin has been long forecasted by the surf media, but we maybe didn’t expect just how good he would become. While he enjoyed a decorated amateur career, Griff was never cast as America’s great hope, as another San Clemente native, Kolohe Andino, was before him. Yet, through time and growth, the young Californian has shown that he might just have what it takes to steal the spotlight as SoCal’s best surfer.

He’ll have to qualify first, though. – Michael Ciaramella

Interview by Pete Taras

Surfing: How old are you now?
Griffin: I am 17. I turn 18 July 29th.

Surfing: How many days of surfing was this Jbay edit? Looks like all in two days or something.
Griffin: Yeah It was all two days. I surfed 8 hours each day.

Surfing: Easy to get waves out there? First time surfing it?
Griffin: It was my second time there it was kinda hard to get waves but I felt I
was in a pretty good rhythm.

Surfing: Have you felt any growing pains in your surfing? How much have you grown this last year?
Griffin: I’ve always been a pretty steady grower. I’ve probably only grown an inch this past year.

Surfing: Do you try to surf like other guys, or do you focus more on your personal style?
Griffin: When I was growing up, I definitely emulated surfers I wanted to surf like. I
tried to mimic moves that my favorite surfers did.

Surfing: How strong is that influence with you? Do you hit a section and think “I want this to look like JJF or like Kolohe’s eight foot alleyoop?
Griffin: Yeah, whenever I’m on a surf trip I always like to watch the best surfers’ video parts before I paddle out so I can try to emulate them.

Surfing: Did you go to Prom? Where did you eat, go out after, make out sesh?
Griffin: No, I never went to prom but definitely hit up the after parties and a
make-out sesh may have gone down (laughs).

Surfing: Are you homeschooled? Do you like that as opposed to being in high
Griffin: Yeah I was homeschooled. I tested out a little bit ago. But I think high
school is sick for meeting all the chicks.

Surfing: How do you think the American youth stacks up to Australia? It seems
pretty solid with you and Jake. But then there’s Ethan Ewing and a few others in Oz.
Griffin: I’d say the American youth is looking pretty good. There are a big group of kids three years younger than Jake and I that are gnarly.

Surfing: And Brazil? Kids just show up out of the blue!
Griffin: Yeah you never know with Brazil.

Surfing: Whats next year look like? WQS full push?
Griffin: Next year my goal is to qualify.