The 2009 Quiksilver King Of The Groms forged its way up to the icy waters of Santa Cruz last Saturday February 28, 2009. With rippable 1-3ft and occasionally 4ft inconsistent lines gracing Pleasure Point’s infamous 1st Peak, the KOG delivered competitors more than enough to show what they were made of.
The KOG U16 has adopted the "skins" format created years ago by Quiksilver's Matt Kechele that offers the kids the opportunity to surf twice if they don't win their heats. For those that do, they have the chance to get on a roll and each "skin" is worth $100.
Andrew Jacobson opened up his campaign with a trifecta nailing 3 "skins" from heat 3 that would go uncontested until the 2nd round. With a backhand display of vertical slams, speed snaps, and pendulum-like-timing, his approach shows that it has been perfected at Malibu and its surrounding nooks and crannies.
Speaking of Malibu, Colton Sarlo (son of LA Godfather Allen Sarlo) showed the family DNA for ripping has been inherited by bringing home a couple "skins" with an act that made dad proud. Locals Jake Logan, Willie Eagleton, and Garrett Colfer weren’t to be shown up in their backyard, and pulled down 4 "skins" between the three of them.
Andrew Jacobson's round 2 campaign was uneventful, but his earlier performance kept him atop the leaderboard. Then came Mr. X., Jordan Heaselgrave, who traveled all the way from Barbados to compete, didn't make as much as a peep in round 1, then came blazing out of the gates in round 2. Jordan was determined to catch Jacobson's 3 skins with a fronthand assault that produced the most consistently high scoring claims of the event. The dinger was his 9.5 ride on a bomb that saw Heaselgrave unleash a series of deep bottomturns to giant forehand carves and lip blasts that equaled Andrew’s 3 count and forced the KOG into a sudden death "surf off."
One of the most hilarious parts of the event was the Ultimate Paddle Battle, where three kids had to paddle out to the nearest longboard and back into the beach for $100! It had locals, parents, and the kids screaming encouragement, directions, and sarcasm at the top of their lungs. In the end it was a neck-and-neck battle with Johhny Mel (Peter's son) and Tenzin Mendenhall who just crossed the finish line a few steps ahead of John for the win!
With a neck-and-neck battle going into the final heat of the day and another $100 at stake, Heaselgrave and Jacobson both opened up solid, but held out on claiming rides in the 6 and 7 range. Then it was Jacobson who dealt the final blow around the 10-minute mark when he unloaded off the bottom, sent a Christmas-tree-shaped-fan into a speed check slash on the fat section, which propelled him into a closing section with another vertical backhand blast emerging to his LA Posse's approval, jumping up and down screaming for him to claim it! Andrew hesitated and then raised his hands to the sky and was rewarded an 8.66 and the title of Quiksilver's King Of The Groms. -Chad Wells
Andrew Jacobson: $400
Jordan Heaselgrave: $300
Colton Sarlo: $200
Willie Eagleton: $200
Frank Curren: $100
Matty Passaquindici: $100
Garrett Colfer: $100
Decker McCallister: $100
Skylar Lawson: $100
Jake Logan: $100