Name: Tyler Gunter
Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
School: Newport Elementary School, fifth grade
Sponsors: RVCA, Arnette, Sex Wax, Jacks, Surf Prescriptions
"That wave's gotta be a couple feet overhead."
"Nah, he's a small guy, so it just looks that way. Five-foot, tops."
In the office, we squinted at the above picture of Tyler Gunter at Salt Creek, measuring with thumb-to-index calipers. All we really wanted to know were the odds of the grommet's little knees popping when he airdropped from the lip. We put it at 2:1.
Taking the calipers to Tyler, he measures 4’7″ and 70 pounds. But the two soda kegs he stands on muscle some surprisingly strong turns, and the NSSA judges have taken notice. For the final event of the 2010-11 season, Tyler paddled out in overhead (our size) windblown peaks in Oceanside and took first in Open Boys and second in Open Mini Groms. His success in Oceanside came shortly after an Open Mini Groms first place finish at Salt Creek. An aggressive approach on waves like the one shown above took him to the podium.
“I hold my composure by staying calm and waiting for the section to come to me,” he responded when asked about surfing waves twice his size. “I like going for big snaps on sections like that because it feels good when I pull it.”