Meet Team America

The USA Lineup for the ISA World Junior Championships

Stevie Pittman, Grom Games 2014 Stevie Pittman. Photo: Jimmicane

Sunday, October 11th marks the opening day for the 2015 Vissla ISA World Junior Championships in Oceanside, California. A parade of nations will take place on the main street — a bizarre and strange sight for the Marines and transients that usually occupy those early morning sidewalks.

President Fernando Aguerre will say some passionate words of encouragement. Then, before a heat takes to the water, the Olympic feel intensifies with the commencement of the sand ceremony, a sentimental intermixing of sediment from the coastlines of each country competing.

If you haven’t followed the ISA World Juniors in the past, the seven-day long contest has traditionally been dominated by the Australians who’s camaraderie and teem ethos make them a favorite year after year. But what about the U.S.A you ask? The proud patriots are coming in hot this year with home field advantage and are, in my opinion, the clear favorite to take the win.

Here are the thunder clouds in the American Storm. Best to bring an umbrella and read further to find out who’s going to make it rain. —Jake Tellkamp

Under 18

Kei Kobayashi
San Clemente, California

Kei has made tremendous strides in his competitive game in 2015 and will be lethal in the three to four foot waves that are currently forecasted. With the ability to grind harder than an entire dance floor at a high school prom, Kei’s persistence and focus will easily get him through slow heats during high tide.

Jake Marshall
Encinitas, California

Nobody in this contest knows Oceanside better than Jake, who calls North County, San Diego his home. Marshall surfs like a skinny vegetarian version of Mick Fanning but with more comfortability to go to the air. If Jake doesn’t get snaked, his patented forehand wrap will constrict the field into submission.

Nolan Rapoza
Long Beach, California

If you are unfamiliar with the scrappy goofy foot, then I’ll have you know that his make ratio for the ol’ air reverse is through every and all roofs. Nolan’s the perennial underdog and will be looking to prove himself in conditions that favor his approach. Variety of grabs and spins will need to be implemented by Nolan however as judges will grow tired of finners and finners and finners by finals day.

Colt Ward
San Clemente, California

Colt’s gal Tia Blanco took out top honors in the ladies division at last year’s ISA Open Championships in Nicaragua. Maybe Colt will be motivated by the success of his other half and will be looking for a gold medal of his own so that they can match in an adorable post win selfie.

Under 16

Luke Gordon
Pawley’s Island, South Carolina

I saw Luke surf for the first time at the RVCA Pro Jr in Newport Beach a few weeks ago. He uses power in appropriate portions rather than blowing through competitors with brazen ability. Gordon is the working man’s hero and that works for us.

John Mel
Santa Cruz, California

“The California Johndor” will pick apart the conditions and his competitors like the competitive vulture that he is. Having the most knowledgable man on the WSL commentating staff in his nest (his pops Pete Mel), John has the wingspan to soar past everyone in this division.

Stevie Pittman
Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

Stevie just co-starred in Spinning At The Speed Of Now, which means that he’s really good, which means that he’ll win heats.

Ryland Rubens
Pacific Beach, California

Ryland has a very attractive older sister, so he has thick skin and quick wit to combat all the perverted jokes from his friends. That ought to come in handy during a seven day long event. Expect him to stay calm under pressure and not to be frazzled by close calls.

Girls Under 18

Tia Blanco
San Clemente, California

As I mentioned earlier, Tia won the ISA Open Championships against the big girls in Nicaragua. Living just on the other side of Camp Pendleton, Tia frequents the beachbreak peaks of O-side and knows how to pace herself throughout the event. Tia will at least the final.

Frankie Harrer
Malibu, California

On a southwest swell in Oceanside, the waves tend to march left up the beach. The forecast is playing to Frankie’s forehand which is frighteningly good. Plus, she charges Teahupo’o, how can you doubt a women with bigger balls than you?

Girls Under 16

Alyssa Spencer
Carlsbad, California

A new face for the USA team, Alyssa Spencer will be sure to make her name known. Riding neon pink boards won’t hurt that either. Alyssa has got Tim Stamps in her corner just like current world number one, Courtney Conlouge. A coincidence that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Tiare Thompson
La Jolla, California

An injury replacement for Caroline Marks, Tiare has a big shoes to fill. We have a feeling however that Coach Ryan Simmons picked Tiare for her proven track record at Oceanside.

Check back with us next week to see how The American Storm dumps on the doubters.