Every year, between the months of May and June, hundreds of young surfers make the long (or short) trek to Southern California in hopes of winning a national title. While a podium-finish at any of the nationally-recognized competitions is considered a true achievement, there is one organization that has always stood above the rest. We at Surfing Magazine beileve that the National Scholastic Surfing Association has earned top honors in American amateur surfing. It seems that every year, the winner of the Open Mens and Open Womens divisions goes on to do something great in the world of surfing. That trend seems destined to continue, as just this weekend Jake Marshall (CA) and Brisa Hennessey (HI) took down these coveted titles, in what look to be the final stages of two illustrious amateur careers. No one can foresee the future, but it’s hard to imagine them going anywhere but up, up, up!
It’s important to note that NSSA ain’t no one trick pony. They have countless divisions, generally separated by two-year increments, starting as low as 10-and-under. Some big winners from this year’s national championships include Cole Houshmand, Levi Slawson, Tenshi Iwami, Caroline Marks, Spencer Bridges, Nick Marshall and many more (in the explorer divisions). This year’s winners spanned from across the country, from the Northeast to Florida, Santa Barbara to SD, and all over the Hawaiian islands. There were even a few international finalists, including multiple Japanese surfers and even a kid from Israel!
The endless heats do tend to get a bit repetitive, though, so that’s where Surfing Magazine comes in. Every year, we put on our version of an expression session, called Show Up and Blow Up. Instead of high performance surfing, we supply all the NSSA kids with ridiculous inflatable toys and send them to wreak havoc on the south side of the pier. These kids push the envelope with flips, spins, trandem attempts, and good old-fashioned poundings. It’s a great way to break up the monotony of a surf event, and it gives the clueless beachgoers something to gawk at.
The NSSA Nationals provided another stellar event for riders and viewers alike. The waves were fun, the kids were ripping, and surfing prevailed as whole. Is it too early to get excited for next year?