Kolohe Andino Wins Rip Curl GromSearch National Final

koloheandino-6852Kolohe Andino has just shot another blaring warning flare to the surfing world. The 15 year-old San Clemente native has notched yet another major milestone victory to his decorated competitive career by scalping the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch National Final fueled by H20 Overdrive.

November 14 unveiled well-lit, highly contestable skatepark-like conditions at Salt Creek, Dana Point, which served as a premium stage for the nation’s best 16/under talent to battle for $2500 prize money, trips to Bells Beach for the 16/under divisions, all the while being webcasted live to the world.

Kolohe Andino erased any doubt on who deserved the National Final title. The young natural-foot blitzed each round, consistently locking in heat scores of 16 points and higher. Additionally, Andino stuck a mind-tweaking aerial shove-it to revert, earning him another C-Note and a Nintendo Wii with the H20 Overdrive Maneuver of the Day.

However, in the final, Kolohe fended off a surging Nathan Carvalho (HI), Koa Smith (HI), and Taylor Thorne (CA) to claim the Boys 16/U National Final Title, $500 cash money, and an all expenses-paid trip to Bells Beach to compete in the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final during the Rip Curl Pro in 2010.

“I’m really excited to be going to Bells,” stated Andino. “I’ve never been there before, and it will be great to surf against my peers from other parts of the world, while watching the top guys do their thing. I’m stoked.”

Joining Andino in representing the US at the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final at Bells Beach is Girls 16/Under National Final Champ, Nage Melamed from Kauai, Hawaii. Nage blazed two consecutive lefts at the end of the final to leap frog Lakey Peterson as time expired. An amazing buzzer-beating effort from Melamed, she will undoubtedly represent to the fullest at Bells.

In the Boys 14/Under division, Jacob Halstead utilized the rights going into the point to unleash a succession of hacks and blow tails to undeniably scalp the 14/U National Final title and nab $500 in prize money. The powerful regularfoot and decorated G-Search vet fended off Colin Moran (CA), Koa Smith (HI), and Taylor Clark (CA), who finished 2nd-4th respectively.

Big Jacob Davis put on a big performance to convincingly lock up the 12/U National Final title. Davis maximized his power and high competition I.Q. to find the best waves and lock in successive excellent scores, while earning $500 for his effort.

All highlights, photos, vids, etc. can be found at ripcurl.com/gromsearch. Rip Curl would like to thank H20 Overdrive, Smith Optics, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, Surfing Magazine, Surfline, Wahoos, and Surf One skateboards for their support of the 2009 Rip Curl GromSearch series.


Boys 16/U:
1. Kolohe Andino (CA)- $500
2. Nathan Carvalho (HI)- $100
3. Taylor Thorne (CA)
4. Koa Smith (HI)

Girls 16/U:
1. Nage Melamed (HI)- $500
2. Lakey Peterson (CA)- $100
3. Chelsea Roett (Barbados)
4. Frankie Harrar (CA)

Boys 14/U:
1. Jacob Halstead (CA)- $500
2. Colin Moran (CA)- $100
3. Koa Smith (HI)
4. Taylor Clark (CA)

Boys 12/U:
1. Jacob Davis
2. Nic Hdez
3. Kanoa Igarashi
4. Colin Deveze

H20 Overdrive Maneuver of the Day: Kolohe Andino (CA)- $100 + Nintendo Wii

Mike Morgan Sportsmanship Award: Nathan Carvalho (HI)