Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image
Gallery Image

2016 Rip Curl Gromsearch Event #2 at Kewalo’s

All photos by Ryan Foley.

There was moment where a squad of squealing, bloodthirsty 8-year-olds swarmed the açai tent like a pack of crazed, starving wolves after a long, hard winter demanding handfuls of blueberries, when I thought it could get ugly. The tent-keeper obliged and the boys ran away with fistfuls of blue and mouths smeared with the kill.

The pack made their way over to Matt Myers, Rip Curl GromSearch’s event director and demanded shwag. Matt, used to this type of chaos, deftly replied, “Pick up five pieces of trash each and I’ll give you a hat.”

The pack immediately hit the ground and combed the event site. It did not get ugly. On the contrary, stop #2 of the Rip Curl Grom Search was held in absolutely celestial conditions. The weather, the wind, the waves, the water temp — it was that kind of day when God wakes up, checks his Insta feed, takes a look outside and says not-so-humbly, “Damn, I’m good.”

How bout them waves? Consistent, flawless 2-4-foot Kewalo’s. Which is pretty much one of the more rippable lefts on Oahu with a fast righthander (w/ air section) off the same peak.

How bout the surfing? Pretty berserk. Jackson Bunch, who won the Boys 12 and Under, swerved his little size-24-britches all over those lefthanders, carving up turkeys like Grandpa’s only job at Thanksgiving din. Robert Grilho III, aka RG3, nearly had Jackie in the final with a massive buzzer-beater air-revo on the right…but couldn’t quite get the final score. He got redemption in the Boys 14-and Under with a win and a tired forearm from all the hammering.

And, of course, in the Boys 16 and Under div, Haleiwa’s underground-killah, Koa Matsumoto, made a covenant with Kewalos to only grace its righthanders…and took care of business for the win without even looking left.

In the Girls-division, I watched the Nishimoto sisters annihilate, with Julie desecrating the rights on her forehand and Sistah Emily attacking the left with a ferocity I have not seen in a young woman since my nieces couldn’t enter the Frozen world in Disney Land “due to hour-long repairs.” Get it together Disney. But seriously, Emily got a 9.5 on one lefthander in the final (that she won) that shoulda been perf-10. So also, get it together judges.

Quite a day, indeed. For the full results, have a gander below. Top 4 from each division is invited to the Grom Search National Final at Seaside Reef in late-October.


Boys 16 & Under

1. Koa Matsumoto ($250)
2. Ocean Donaldson-Sargis
3. Cole Alves
4. Devin Brueggeman

Girls 16 & Under

1. Emily Nishimoto ($250)
2. Julie Nishimoto
3. Brisa Hennessy
4. Samantha Sibley
5. Brittany Penaroza
6. Gabriela Bryan

Boys 14 & Under

1. Robert Grilho III ($250)
2. Sage Tutterow
3. Taro Watanabe
4. Wyatt McHale
5. Ocean Macedo
6. Dylan Franzmann

Boys 12 & Under

1. Jackson Bunch ($250)
2. Robert Grilho III
3. Diego Ferri
4. Kai Martin
5. Thatcher Johnson
6. Raphael Castro

Banzai Bowls Maneuver of the Event

Cole Alves, Air Reverse ($305)

DHD High Heat Total

Ocean Macedo, 17.10

HIC Sportsmanship Award

Noah Kawaguchi