Chest-high pulsing rights, {{{90}}} degree weather, Brian Toth on the mic, a dj on hand to pump the raggaeton beats, and a crop of Puerto Rico's finest groms: The first event of the 2006 GromSearch series went down this weekend with all key ingredients for an epic comp.

May 27 saw the best waves to grace Jobos Beach, PR in over two weeks, and luckily all GromSearch competitors were lucky enough to take advantage. 20 minute heats plus a double-elimination format gave all mini-shredders plenty of water-time to showcase their skills. The groms all came with their A-games, and why wouldn't they? With a ridiculous amount of prizes on the line, an invitation to the National Final looming for the top 3 finishers in each division, and Puerto Rican national heroes Brian Toth, Wesley Toth, and Dylan Graves on site to watch their country's next crop of talent get busy, the youngsters had no problem getting motivated.

Big props have to go out to young Hector Santa Maria. Unquestionably the form surfer of the event throughout the day, the smiley regularfooter carved, crushed, sliced, and diced each wave en route to double victory in both the Boys 16/Under and Boys 14/Under. Santa Maria showed true flare in the chest-high Jobos rights, which prompted local Puerto Rican star Brian Toth to state, "Man, that kid's blowing up!" Toth took some time out of his busy WQS point-chasing schedule to make an appearance at the event, while simultaneously celebrating his 21st birthday.

Other event standouts include Christian Rivera, who took out the frothing 12/U rat pack, while posting some serious scores. Also, Liza Caban who crushed the 16/U girls division, while instilling fear in the 14/Under Boys, as she put in a good showing in that division as well.

All in all, this was a fresh start to the 2006 Rip Curl GromSearch series. The circus will be moving immediately to PB Drive, San Diego for a showdown of the SD grommets on Saturday, June 3. Stay in the loop on www.ripcurl.com.

Boys 16 & Under
Hector Santa Maria

Girls 16 & Under
Liza Cuban

Boys 14 & Under
Hector Santa Maria

Boys 12 & Under
Christian Rivera