The 2019 Rip Curl Pro GromSearch International Final is about to kick off, bringing together 20 of the best 16-and-under junior surfers from around the globe to compete in the punchy beach break of Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica.

The International Final is a culmination the Rip Curl GromSearch Series, held regionally around the globe every year. Each regional series ends with a regional final, and the winners of each then have the opportunity to compete in the International Final.

"Each year we choose a new locational for the International Final," says Mark Flanagan, GromSearch Contest Director. "The goal is to provide a platform for grommets to test their skills in different waves around the world and gain experience in a higher level of competition."

Only a few days out from the start of competition, the forecast for swell is looking solid. Playa Hermosa will be offering up steep sections and challenging barrels that will provide a great platform for each athlete to showcase their versatility and talent in bigger, powerful surf.

Former GromSearch International Final Champion and ‘QS surfer Leilani McGonagle was born and raised in Costa Rica and will act as the event host. Throughout the waiting period, she will make calls on conditions and will aim to get the competitors into the best surf on offer over the four days.

"I'm really excited to welcome 20 of the world's best junior surfers to my home," says Leilani. "It's a beautiful place with some of the best waves in the world, and I think it's the perfect place for them to get some experience in a serious competition with solid swell."

"I'm also really excited to show them what life is like here in Costa Rica outside of the water. We have such a rich culture and there is so much natural beauty around, it'll be really fun showing the competitors what Costa Rica is all about!"

The winner of the 2019 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final will be added to a long list of former Champions who went on to do great things. Former International Final Champions include the likes of WSL Championship Tour competitors Caroline Marks (USA), Brisa Hennessey (CR), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HI), Leonardo Fioravanti (IT), 2x World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Nikki van Dijk (AUS) and 2x World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS).

2019 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final Competitors:

Finn Cox (AUS)

Molly Picklum (AUS)

Sophia Medina (BRA)

Willoughby Snowdon Masterman (UK)

Alys Barton (UK)

Kyllian Guerin (FRA)

Juliette Lacome (FRA)

Afonso Antunes (PT)

Concha Balsemao (PT)

Adur Amatriain Arregui (SPN)

Melania Suarez Diaz (SPN)

Ryuki Waida (IND)

Jack Lee (NZ)

Brie Bennett (NZ)

Taro Watanabe (USA)

Caitlin Simmers (USA)

Alyssa Spencer (USA)

Mathea Olin (CAN)

Manny Valentin (PR)

5x Costa Rica wildcards