For the past two decades, the T&C Surf Grom Contest has come to be known as one of the most stress-free, happy-go-lucky, and fun-loving contests around. An assembly of young surfers from across the island chain gather under the welcoming arms of the Duke Kahanamoku statue to savor the sun, surf and friendly competition. Returning to Queens surf break is the 20th annual T&C Surf Grom Contest, presented by Chili's Grill & Bar, on May 20-21.
Through the years, the contest has become so popular that gone are the days of entering and conquering multiple divisions. Today, contestants must choose one division only, allowing as many kids as possible the chance to experience the opportunity to compete. On the sidelines are all the groms packing a quiver of boards decked in sponsor stickers and a decorated wall of trophies. The contest rules have evolved over the years, making the contest strictly for those who love to surf simply for the thrill. “The GROM contest is an annual highlight for T&C!" says Craig Sugihara, founder and owner of T&C Surf. "It signals the start of summer and is a weekend of family fun. Sharing the stoke of surfing with our keiki puts a smile on all our faces. T&C is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this special event this year. It has been an absolute pleasure and we look forward to doing it for many years to come."
This contest is different from the host of others on Oahu because it strictly prohibits contestants who have entered an NSSA, HASA, or any other competitive surfing organization from entering the event. T&C Surf produces the event each year to introduce young surfers ages 3-12 to the world of competitive surfing in a less-intense setting. "For the past 20 years, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii's partnership with T&C Surf has always been aligned with our mission – to create greater futures for our youth. This annual event positively influences the lives of over 300 youth each year in Hawai'i and we are proud to once again be a part of it," says Tim Motts, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii.
Adults can also get in on the fun by signing up for the "FreeSurf Expression Session" specialty event on Sunday. Parents join keiki in a special adult/child tandem surf event that gives them the opportunity to display a "Cockroach," "Wheelbarrow" or any other skilled dual move. "Once again Manulele Inc is proud to be a part of this wonderful event for the community and Na Keiki! The FreeSurf Magazine Expression Session illuminates the thread between healthy living and spending quality time with your keiki!" says Mike Latronic, publisher of FreeSurf Magazine. The Expression Session is open to all adults and children (with a sibling in the event). On-site limited entry is complimentary and prizes are presented to the top three teams.
Families will stake claim for two days on the south shore in front of the most iconic surf break in support of their beloved groms. The competition kicks off Saturday with a full day of heats in the lineup at Queens in three divisions for boys and girls: Shortboard, Longboard and Bodyboard. Also included is the Kokua division for keiki 3-6 years of age, held inside at Baby Queens that allows parental assistance. In-between heats, fun games and beach activities help keep the atmosphere more about sharing the stoke than winning or losing. Open divisions continue with advancing rounds until narrowed down to the finals. Finalist are treated to gleaming medals and prize packs filled with surf products from event sponsors, including the opportunity to win one of two custom T&C Surf boards. An immense raffle for awesome prizes including beater boards, bodyboards and even skateboards is open to all competing groms and will close out the ceremonies. The contest is expected to reach full capacity, so make sure to get your entry in early. All competitors receive a contest T-shirt, lunch, and goodie bag.
The T&C Surf Grom Contest is presented by Chili's Grill & Bar and supported by the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, GoPro, Dakine, Vans, and Vertra. Entry forms are available at all T&C Surf locations and online at TCSurf.com/grom and on www.facebook.com/TCSurfGromContest. The public can call 808-483-8711 for more information.
About T&C Surf
Founded in 1971 by surfboard shaper Craig Sugihara, T&C Surf operates three divisions: surfboards, retail, and licensing. The surfboard division operates from a state-of-the art shaping facility in Wahiawa. It provides our highly skilled board shapers with the best tools for designing and producing some of the world's most sought-after boards. The retail division includes eight locations on Oahu; Ala Moana Center, Kahala Mall, Ka Makana Ali'i, Pearlridge Shopping Center, Ward Warehouse, Ward Centre, Windward Mall and Haleiwa Store Lots. The licensing division has agreements around the world, including Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. Visit us online at TCSurf.com.