GromSearch Made History in Hawaii: Carissa Moore takes out the boys

The 5th stop of the 2006 RIP CURL GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy came to Kewalo Basin on Oahu's south shore, and was greeted with not just pumping surf, but also a historical performance by one grom in particular. Solid 4-6 foot offshore waves were sliced and diced like a fresh plate of sashimi as Hawaii's micro-groms looked to blow up for all the local aunties and uncles on the beach. Local girl Carissa Moore woke up Saturday morning with one thing on her mind, to show the boys what was really going on...

Surfing in the boys 14 & under division, Carissa was the first female competitor in GromSearch history to mix it up with the boys. Making her way through three rounds, she found herself in the final and in the company of some heavy hitters. Local names with competitive notoriety such as Keanu Asing, Matty Costa, and Dylan Goodale were absolutely killing it all day and were looking to transcend that form into a GromSearch victory, but Carissa had different plans.

Catching the biggest and best waves of the final, the young phenom blew the back out every lip thrown her way. One left in particular, Carissa extended a deep bottom turn straight into a vertical bash that threw a ten-foot pinecone shaped spray into the air with not one drop of water out of place. Scoring a 9.5 for the ride, Carissa blew the minds of every grom, spectator, competitor, tourist, fisherman, and even people up in the air on Hawaiian Airlines flight 220 landing in Honolulu.

GromSearch contest director, Darren Brilhart (who runs such prestigious events such as the X Games, Cold Water Classic, and Lowers Surf Bout) claimed, "This is what it was like watching Kelly Slater come up."

Carissa walked away with the win, and humbly stated " I would like to say it was on honor to surf against all the boys today, I want to thank them for allowing me to compete against such great surfers, thank you!"

In the girls 16 & under division, the ocean threw everything in its power, as there was no shortage of waves being ridden. Impressive exchanges had everyone thinking they were watching WCT event as these girls capitalized on every wedge in their path. Alessa Quizon caught one left that held up all the way through to the inside where she methodically destroyed the lip with a series of top turns and cutbacks scoring her an 8. The ride sealed her fate as the girls champ, barely squeaking by a hard charging Missy Valdez.

The Kewalos onslaught continued as the boys 16 & under took to the water next as less than one point separated Dege Oconnell, Billy Kemper and Tyler Newton for the crown. In the end, Dege had two solid lefts into the basin which he continuously went upside down on his vertical lippers, sliding his tail out the back of every section to come away with the win.

The micro of the micro groms finished out the afternoon with the 12 & under division giving the crowd a vision into the future of Hawaiian surfing. With the big sets and offshore winds, one had to think these menehunes would just get blown out to sea. However, these mini rippers definitely put on a show. Isaiah Moniz took home first place by utilizing the biggest waves of the heat to his advantage, dishing out a plethora of maneuvers that had big dad and Hawaiian legend, Tony Moniz, grinning ear to ear with fatherly pride.

The Kewalo GromSearch is always impressive, and this year was no exception. Many thanks go out to HASA for all their hard work in putting on the event, the entire judging panel, as well as Tommy Asing for his mc skills. The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy heads into the East Coast leg this week with the Outer Banks event scheduled to go off Aug 12-13. Big thanks to event sponsors Unbound Energy, Arnette Sunglasses, SURFING Magazine, Sticky Bumps and WaveWatch for their continued support. For more information, go to

Boys 12 & Under
1st Isaiah Moniz
2nd Symon Rowlands
3rd John Quizon
4th Kaito Kino
5th Buddy Wiggins
6th Ha’a Aikau

Boys 14 & Under
1st Carissa Moore
2nd Keanu Asing
3rd Dylan Goodale
4th Micah Miguel
5th Matty Costa
6th Anthony Schifone

Boys 16 & Under
1st Dege O’Connell
2nd Billy Kemper
3rd Tyler Newton
4th Derek Wong
5th Kapu Ping
6th Tanner Hendrickson

Girls 16 & Under
1st Alessa Quizon
2nd Missy Valdez
3rd Ashley Hunter
4th Coco Ho
5th Hana Harrison
6th Kaili Rodman