THIS MONTH'S ACE: Adam Wickwire, Satellite Beach, Florida
RECENT GRADES: 2004 NSSA East Coast Open Juniors Champion
REMARKS: "I haven't really traveled that much this year; you know, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, went on the Crossing twice and then I just got back from Costa Rica …" Adam Wickwire isn't kidding. Five trips in as many months is a light schedule for the East Coast's most globe-trotting grom, a kid who in the past three years has spent more time abroad than at home. Sure, it's a dream life for a surfer, but for a competitor such a carefree existence can lead to less-than-spectacular results. In fact, after winning two Nationals titles in 1999 and 2000, Wiki's last big trophy came in 2001 – taking the USSF Menehune championships – about the time he started hitting the road harder than a B-company sub-rep, which is why this year, he took a different approach. "I think it really helped being home more," Adam explains. "I could take all the water time and experience of surfing a lot of different waves and then apply it to the smaller stuff around here." Ironically, just when the 16-year-old talent seemed to have his competitive head on straight, he went and twisted his body, breaking his arm in a motocross accident just five days before the 2004 NSSA East Coast Championships. But his will remained stronger than ever. "I didn't even ask the doctor," he bristles. "I was competing no matter what." It paid off. Not only did his mind-over-matter attitude earn the Open Juniors win, it's put him back on the path for even more victories. "I think I just wanted it more than anyone else this year," he figures. "And now I want Nationals even more."