2014 USA Championships

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All Photos: Jimmicane

What amateur surfing lacks in money, it makes up for in talent. The Surfing America US championships finished Saturday at Lower Trestles. There was no live webcast. No massive brand backing. No cardboard checks (and more important, regular size checks) for the winners. And no matter. The kids got to hang on the beach with their friends for 5-days. Play ping-pong. Kendama. Throwing rocks. And they got empty Lowers, which they surfed better than ever before. Yeah, that's been said already. And sure, it'll be said again -- probably next year. But it doesn't make it any less true today.

See: Eli Hanneman, an 11-year old from Maui, who dropped a 9.87 and a 9.0 in the boy's Under 12 final. Is he the next big thing? Sure. And: Caroline Marks, a 12-year old from Florida, who won three divisions -- and had she surfed up in the Under 18s, might have won a fourth. Is she the next Frieda Zamba or Lisa Andersen (both won four World Titles)? Why not?

What is for sure is we'll be seeing these kids on a much bigger soon enough. And, you know, a stage that pays.

Boys U12 Final
1 – Eli Hannenman
2 – Ocean Macedo
3 – Kade Matson
4 – Sebastian Mendes

Boys U14 Final
1 – Barron Mamiya
2 – Cole Houshmand
3 – Noah Hill
4 – Eithan Osborne

Boys U16 Final
1 – Stevie Pittman
2 – Nolan Rapoza
3 – Micky Clarke
4 – Jake Marshall

Boys U18 Final
1 – Nic Hdez
2 – Jake Davis
3 – Kanoa Igarashi
4 – Seth Moniz

Girls U12 Final
1 – Caroline Marks
2 – Rachel Presti
3 – Alyssa Spencer
4 – Gabriela Bryan

Girls U14 Final
1 – Caroline Marks
2 – Summer Macedo
3 – Tiare Thompson
4 – Julie Nishimoto

Girls U16 Final
1 – Caroline Marks
2 – Maddie Peterson
3 – Emily Nishimoto
4 – Malia Osterkamp

Girls U18 Final
1 – Brisa Hennessy
2 – Tia Blanco
3 – Zoe McDougal
4 – Mainei Kinimaka