Arizona green teas are glugged and tenacious eyes pierce through the lenses of oversized sunglasses. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mixed with sand are consumed for energy just before the finals. Small hands reach for toes, stretching with the intensity of a Tibetan monk — mostly because that’s the only stretch a grom knows. To a hopeful adolescent surfer, the Rip Curl GromSearch is the cat’s PJs. It’s a stepping-stone, or even an escalator, to surf stardom.
Thumbing for a ride on the escalator, the USA’s finest runts will fight baby tooth and unkempt nail for the national title at Upper Trestles on November 17. A live webcast will shine a light on this smiley battle, sheepish post-heat interviews and all. Now, if watching America’s greatest juveniles blowing tail and sinking rail sounds like something relevant to your interests, check out the webcast at www.ripcurl.com/gromsearch. If not, then stop reading this and go back to watching Dancing With the Stars re-runs.
The national winners will be shipped off to Bells for a stab at the International title. And that is where the escalator really gets cranking. Past international winners include Stephanie Gilmore, Jordy Smith, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Medina, Laura Enever and Kolohe Andino. And while winning world titles and being famous is all fine and dandy, the surfers who don’t quite make it all the way to Bells are basically guaranteed a lavish career within the surf industry.
2006 Northeast Regional GromSearch Champion
Past Rip Curl GromSearch National Championships