In true Huntington Beach fashion, stop #3 of the 2006 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy was packed to the gills with fired up competitors. With a solid southern-hemi filling in over the weekend, 9th Street churned up steep rights and long left walls that allowed competitors to showcase their talent. The infamous “Taco Bell Reef went off and with those conditions the groms couldn’t keep themselves from absolutely destroying the place.
The event’s unique double elimination-format allowed competitors to let loose and go for big scores.14 year old Michael Richardson stirred up the beach when he posted a perfect 10 for a string of huge backside fans and a mean tag on the inside bowl. While the groms battled fiercely to post high scores, young Hawaiian and Rip Curl team rider Koa Smith chose to light up 9th street with his frontside attack of fin blasts and grinding roundhouses. To put it plain and simple, the groms surfed like full-grown men.
The GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy never disappoints when it comes to giveaways and HB was no exception. Tons of prizes were handed out including a copy for every grommet of the latest Mick Fanning film “Mick, Myself, and Eugene. Rip Curl team riders Mick Fanning and Pancho Sullivan even showed up to sign autographs and check out what the groms were throwing down. “This is epic, stated Fanning in between autographs. “The groms are goin’ off!
In the Girls 16/Under, Malibu local and Rip Curl employee Chandler Parr opened with a 7.0 and locked in first place with a 7.5 on her final wave. Koa Smith and Taylor Thorn led the charge in the Boys 12/Under final but Oahu’s own Matt Costa displayed an unparalleled relaxed style dropping a cool 8.5 in the first few minutes to gain an early lead and take home the trophy. The Boys 14/Under final came out close with Eli Viszolay of Laguna Beach taking first place, proving to be too much for the rest of the pack.
The most exciting heat of the contest went down in the Boys 16/Under final. Kauai native Alex Smith came out swinging hard scoring a 9.0 on his first wave. An aggressive vertical backhand coupled with Alex’s affinity for hucking frontside airs made him a stand out competitor. While Dane Zaun countered with a series of high performance maneuvers, Alex held out until his final wave to post an 8.5 to claim victory. As always, the top 3 finishers in each final have earned themselves a coveted invite to the Rip Curl GromSearch National Final presented at Salt Creek on June 5th.
The Rip Curl Grom Search will be making the trek up to Santa Cruz for stop #4 at The Hook on July 6th. Bring your full suits and your grommets and don’t forget to keep checking www.ripcurl.com/gromsearch for all the latest info and updates. Rip Curl also wants to send a big thanks for GromSearch series supporters: Unbound Energy, SURFING Mag, Wavewatch, Sticky Bumps, and Surf One. Also, thanks Spy Optic and DVS for supporting the HB event.
Full Results of stop #3 of the 2006 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy Boys 16/U
2. Koa Smith
3. Taylor Thorne