Meneheunes and Wahines alike gathered along the Kewalo Basin on Oahu’s south shore on August 13 for one purpose: to battle it our for GromSearch glory. After weeks of lake-like surf, a chest to shoulder high southern hemi pulse brought a variety of Aloha-state talent to the G-Search. From flashy Big Island super talent Torey Meister to the seven-sibling Moniz clan, Hawaii’s next generation of superstars showed up with their game faces on.
This next Hawaiian generation have something going that the other regions don’t: family lineage. Last names such as Ho, Moniz, Gonzalves, Aikau, Rothman, and Hedemann filled the heat sheets, and it was clear that the talent ran blood deep. Young Coco Ho, wasted no time at stop #5, as she racked up continuous big scores throughout the day to claim the girls 16 & under victory. Michael would be proud.
Arguably the most impressive performance of the day came from young Hawaiian gun Ezekiel Lau. Don’t let the small stature fool you on this kid. The 12-year old natural foot unleashed all 75 pounds of fury on each Kewalo wall, racked up a win in every heat, and nearly had a perfect score (20 out of 20) in the semi. In the final, the Vin Diesel-resembling talent over came a fired up Tanner Hendrickson; however, Lau had a relative “off heat for the day- to go along with one solid score, he only had one 9.5 ride. After accepting his award, Lau made sure to get the crowd going. When contest announcer Marty Thomas asked him over the mic who he would like to thank, Lau replied, “I just want to thank all my Kewalo boyz out der’. Thanks!
In the 14 and under division, Westside powerhouse Hizson Linkee breezed throughout the prelims with relative ease, tearing apart each wave he rode in the process. However, young Derek Wong wasn’t to be outdone in the final. Surfing patient and precise all day, the well-mannered regular foot chose to only stand up on two waves in the final,; however, he made sure to score a seven on each of them, which secured the 1st place Rip Curl trophy and an ear-to-ear grin.
Although all divisions showcased some exciting surfing, Big Island big shot Torey Meister raised the bar in the 16 and under division. Meister started off the heat with a turn out the back, a carving 360, and then an f/s lip slide to boot. Score: 9.0. He didn’t stop there. Mid way through the heat, a series of beyond vertical lip blasts, coupled with an A.I-inspired backside carve put the 1st place trophy in his hand. Score for that ride: 9.5. Torey capped the heat with yet another 9.25, which had fellow competitors waving their white flags in the Trades. When Marty Thomas asked Meister about strategy, Meister shyly mumbled, “I dunno. I guess I like going right.
“But you had two 9 plus rides going left, Marty laughed.”Yeah. I guess those helped too, Meister humbly admitted.
Meister will have his eyes set on the Rip Curl GromSearch National final, which will go off November 5 at Salt Creek, Ca, where a victory will secure him an all expenses paid trip to Bells Beach, Australia to compete in the International Rip Curl GromSearch final. Go towww.ripcurl.comfor more details.
Thanks to GromSearch partners Nintendoo, Monster Energy, FCS, Surf One, Sticky Bumps, and ADD. For more information on the Rip Curl GromSearch or how to enter head to www.ripcurl.com
Next Stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch:
Outer Banks, North Carolina – August 20th, 2005
Results GromSearch Hawaii
1st Place 16 & Under – Tory Meister
1st Place 14 & Under – Derek Wong
1st Place 12 & Under – Ezekiel Lau
1st Place Girls 16 & Under – Coco Ho