The Rip Curl GromSearch International Final: Thomas Woods and Nikki Van Dijk Join the Legacy

For Immediate Release: The Rip Curl GromSearch International Final: Thomas Woods and Nikki Van Dijk Join the Legacy

Costa Mesa, CA (April 15, 2009): With names like Steph Gilmore, Owen Wright, Mason Ho, Jordy Smith, Alana Blanchard, amongst others that highlight the list of GromSearch grads, it’s no wonder the International Final is riddled with legacy and prestige.

Smack dab in the middle of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the World’s best 16/under representatives united to do valiant battle. Reps from the USA, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, France, and New Zealand all showed up with hopes of joining the list of esteemed past champs, while representing their respective flags.

Nikki Van Dijk has been living the dream. Only 14-years old, Nikki won the local trials to compete in the main event of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro before being defeated by hero Steph Gilmore. In the GromSearch International Final, she was back in winning form, throwing down excellent scores with ease, style, and flair en route to her first Rip Curl GromSearch International Final title.

Thomas Woods, hailing from Queensland, Australia, resembled a budding young Taj Burrow with high-risk airs, tail blows, and fin wafts. However, Woods went head-up with the sure-fire future ASP World Tour qualifier, Santa Cruz representer, and USA GromSearch National Champ, Nat Young.

Nat lit up the Bells Beach walls as if they were a Steamer Lane canvas, netting a 9.5 and the lead with one particular succession of ballistic backhand blasts. However, with 5 minutes left, Woods cleared for take-off, launching a tweaked frontside grab 180 air before cracking the lip a few more times to lock a mid 8, the lead, and an eventual Rip Curl GromSearch International Final title.

“I will say that was the most high-performance junior final I have ever seen,” said Rip Curl founder and owner, Doug “Claw” Warbrick. “And I have seen a lot.”

“I am so stoked,” Woods said up on stage. “It’s a great honor. All these guys are such great surfers, and I am so stoked to walk away with the title.”

The 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch is cueing up to take over this summer. All info can be found at

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Rip Curl marketing coordinator, Chelsea Johns,