With the past two years being canceled due to lack of waves, would luck prevail in 2006 and allow the New Jersey groms to show what they got in front of their home-state crowd? The 7th stop of the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy came to 13th Ave. in Seaside Park and was greeted by super ripable 2-3 foot surf that had the groms psyched!
Every bump and wedge that came through this day was covered like a thick layer of cheese on a slice of Jersey pizza from the Casino Pier. After a two weeks of no waves, groms from all over the northeast region didn't let any chance go by to blow up in front of the few hundred spectators on the beach. For many of these kids, like hard charging 7-year old Tommy Forkin, this was their first competition ever, and you could see the excitement in their eyes.
It was an excellent opportunity to catch the future of Jersey surfing, as there were many young Sam Hammer's and Frank Walsh's among the masses of raging surf rats. The 12 & under mini men brought the crowd alive with their strong surfing and bright attitudes. Young Pat Schmidt utilized a few sick cutties and combination maneuvers to hold off double finalist Michael Ciarmella for the win.
Britney Hickey, took a note from Hawaiian Carissa Moore and decided to test her skills against the boys by entering the 12 & Under division as well as the girls. Britney surfed strong all day and made both finals! By placing 6th in boys division, and taking home the win in the girls, Britney made a big statement with style, speed and drive.
The weather on the jersey shore was quite unpredictable; we saw sun, rain, wind, hot and cold breezes. However, one thing stayed the same: the kids remained amped. When the groms weren't dawning a comp jersey, they could be found in the midst of a heated wrestling match or some other type of beach mission. With all the crazy stuff happening on the beach, no one was distracted from the kids going off in the water.
Balaram Stack, New York's version of a young Rob Machado came to Jersey to show how things are done on Long Island. Balaram blew up all day as the young goofy foot continuously went upside down on his back hand, and blew the lip off every Jersey wedge in his way. Rewarded with the 14 & Under 1st place trophy, Balaram made his NY Crew proud.