Am I crazy, or does Maui have the best crop of mid-20’s surfers in the world? They’ve got Albee, Meola, Barger, Clay, Tanner Hendrickson, and probably a few others I’m forgetting. Something about those blustery trades and wild seas have spawned a generation of wave wallopers that are unreasonably talented both above and below the lip. The thing is, most of them don’t really dig the contest grind. Out of the above names, Tanner is the only one making a concerted effort to qualify for the Tour, which he proved he is capable of when he took 2nd at last year’s US Open.
However, there is one more Maui surfer who has made a career out of competition, and that’s Granger Larsen. An absolute powerhouse in the NSSAs, Granger joined the QS with dreams of continuing his competition demolition all the ay to the big leagues. After a couple years finishing just outside the qualification mark, Granger has had to refocus and reinvigorate his surfing to stay near the top of the pack. Although he’s off to a rough start, we wouldn’t be surprised to find Granger on a few podiums this year if he’s able to lay some rail in the water during his heats. See above for evidence.