1. Jake Marshall
Recent accomplishment: 2nd place Volcom TCT Juniors Division Global Championships
Why him: Jake is undeniably the under-18 American alpha dog. This may be his last year surfing the NSSAs before he makes a real push on QS, and we’re sure he wants to go out on top, just like so many great surfers before him.
2. Micky Clarke
Recent accomplishment: Best Instagram account of all NSSA competitors 2016
Why him: Micky is the most powerful kid in the NSSA today. If the event has some swell, it’s hard to imagine him losing before the finals. If he finds a big, open wall in that final, it’s hard to imagine him losing at all.
3. Noa Mizuno
Recent accomplishment: 3rd place 2016 Ala Moana Pro Jr.
Why him: The Hawaiian native has a polished approach that makes him difficult to beat in any conditions. He’s got strong coaching and support behind him, but Huntington can unravel even the greatest of plans. In order to win, he’ll have to adapt and attack the ever-changing conditions.
4. Chauncey Robinson
Recent accomplishment: 2016 NSSA Open Men’s East Coast Champion
Why him: While Lowers tends to expose the flaws of short-period trained East Coasters, Huntington Beach probably looks a lot like Chauncey’s homebreak. He should have no problem with the quick transitions and fat sections, making him a clear favorite.
5. Dante Silva
Recent accomplishment: 2016 NSSA Open Men’s Hawaiia Regional Champion
Why him: This light, limber, slightly erratic goofyfooter brings a bit of that wildcard flair to the mix. Dante could struggle to link strong maneuvers, or he could pull a Clay Marzo and drop double 10’s on his way to victory. Let’s call him a darkhorse.