1. Jett Schilling
Recent accomplishment: 2016 NSSA Open Boys West Coast Champion
Why him: If you haven’t noticed already, Jett Schilling is ruling amateur surfing right now. With a tight rail game and extraordinary pop, it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s topped our list. We’re calling him Tanner Gudauskas 2.0.
2. Jackson Bunch
Recent accomplishment: 2016 NSSA Open Boys Hawaiian Champion
Why him: His Instagram shows two new surfboards with AI’s classic Rising Sun artwork on the deck. And he’s using them at nationals. Watch out.
3. Levi Slawson
Recent accomplishment: 2nd place 2016 NSSA Open Boys West Coast Regionals
Why him: Levi is a contest machine and he eats pieces of HB pier for breakfast. No really, he ran into the pier earlier this year while competing at a Ripcurl Gromsearch event. Something tells me he’s not afraid to do it again if necessary.
4. Robert Grilho III
Recent accomplishment: 3rd place 2016 Volcom TCT Global Championships
Why him: Robert is a big kid compared to his scrawny peers. If he’s able to showcase an extra level of power on those tricky HB walls, he should have no problem sealing the deal in 2016.
5. Taj Lindblad
Recent accomplishment: 2016 NSSA Explorer Menehune West Coast Champion
Why him: Good style, good technique, great name. Let’s see if he’s got what it takes to live up to his predecessor, the now-retired Taj Burrow.