Maybe it was the sweltering hot summer weather, or perhaps it was the overhead, pumping southern hemi. Or, it could be that we just so happened to set up shop smack dab in the middle of Pacific Beach. Whatever the reason may be, the 2nd stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch went off; plain and simple.
In front of thousands of beachgoers, spectators, and PB partiers, the grommets didn't let any distractions get in the way of dismantling each and every unsuspecting wave that came their way on June 3. The event set the stage for non-stop action all day, in the water and out. Whether it was 8-year old Kalani David (competing from Hawaii!) blowing the minds of all those who have never seen this 2nd-grader surf, or young Encinitas homeboy Taylor Clark showing signs of a young R. Machado, the event gave a glimpse into the future of American surfing; and put on your shades, because it sure looks bright.
Not only did the G.Search provide the ultimate platform for the groms to do battle with its unique double-elimination format, but a truck-load of prizes were in the hands of all who entered. Not to mention, courtesy of the Rip Curl Surf Center Pacific Beach, every grom who put on a jersey received a free $15 gift certificate as well as a proper pizza feast upon event's end.
In the Girls 16/Under, Lexi Papilion notched up a 9 and an 8 to casually combo the field and take the victory. Taylor Clark fended off a fired up Kalani David, as well as a surging Derek Peters to nab the 12/Under crown. Shaw Kobayashi eerily resembled a young Kaipo Jaquias, as his vertical backhand attack took flight and the 14/Under bragging rights simultaneously. Notching up a 9.16 on his 3rd wave, Shaw was unable to be touched by the rest of the field.
And, finally in the old man's division (Boys 16/Under), a sunscreened-up Tyler Stanaland put his powerful frontside prowess into full effect, as his numerous tail drifts and sharp snaps in the pocket earned him GromSearch glory over 805 area code-representer Dustin Willman. As always, the top 3 finishers in each division have earned themselves that vital Rip Curl GromSearch National Final invite, set to blow up at Salt Creek on November 5.
The Rip Curl GromSearch tour now sets its eyes on the horizon, as 9th Street, Huntington Beach is penciled down for June 17. Keep clicking onto www.ripcurl.com for all the 411.
Rip Curl wants to give props to the GromSearch series supporters: SURFING Mag, Wavewatch, Sticky Bumps, and Surf One. Also, thank you to Spy Optic and DVS for supporting the PB Drive event.
FULL RESULTS OF PACIFIC BEACH, STOP 2 OF THE 2006 RIPCURL GROMSEARCH SERIES:
DOMINIC DE PIETRO