Florida Flares Up for the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy

It's 7 am, Saturday morning August 19, 2006 and there is already a mile long line up of cars waiting to get beach access to the New Smyrna Inlet. The gates open at 8, and the action of the final stop of the 2006 Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy is set to start in an hour. Braving the hungry mosquitoes and getting amped at the sight of contestable waves, the groms are pumped to do battle and see who will be crowned Florida GromSearch Champion.

2-3 foot skate park like conditions were awaiting the kids this morning, and they were not ready to let any ramp go un-blasted. Before the first heat began, a clinic in progressive surfing had gone down, with kids ranging from as young as 8 to 16 were seen blasting tail and punting airs with reckless abandon.

The monster trucks and lifted {{{SUV}}}'s lined up the beach and parents busted out umbrellas and their digital cameras to document the show. Out of every GromSearch event this year, New Smyrna had the most girls entered by far. From mighty mites like Izzy Gomez to seasoned GromSearch veterans like this day's Girls' Champ Amy Nichol, the chicks were ripping! With no shortage of talent, could there be another Lisa Anderson in the making within the pack?

Local up and coming sensation Evan Geiselman, all 12 years of him, decided to not only surf the boys 12 & Under but also take on the veterans in the 16 & Under. Evan surfed with maturity beyond his years displaying a repertoire of tricks and high scoring rail-to-rail surfing. Ripping his way to both finals, Evan took home the 12 & under victory, and came a close second in the 16 & Under to an in-form and high flying Tyler Crawford. Tyler gaffed a huge backside lipper to air drop and finished with a big backside mute grab that had 1st place written all over it.

The 14 & under boys were not be left in the shadows of all the ripping that was going down around them. USA team member Evan Thompson made sure his speed and projection on every turn he threw down would not go unnoticed by the guys, girls, groms, moms, off-roaders, bbq cooks, kite flyers and most certainly the judging panel. Evan blasted and combo’d every wave he caught to take home unanimous GromSearch victory.

Faster than a spinner shark chases a fish, everyone headed over to Clancy’s Cantina Fine Mexican Food for a screening of the new Rip Curl video "Mick, Myself, & Eugene", and some food and drink. After the movie was over, kids swarmed the local band and danced the night away to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley in true stoked grommet fashion.

The east coast tour has been completed, and the next stop for the Rip Curl GromSearch presented by Unbound Energy is the National Championships to be held November 4th at Salt Creek in California. Special thanks to the ESA for all their hard work, as well as event sponsors including Unbound Energy, Arnette Sunglasses, SurfOne Skateboards, Surfing Magazine, Sticky Bumps, and WaveWatch for making the east coast a success. For more information about GromSearch, log on to www.ripcurl.com


Girls 16 & Under:
1st Amy Nichol
2nd Ametza Nicholls
3rd Savannah Bradley
4th Haley Watson
5th Alexandra Geesey
6th Leah Bowman

Boys 12 & Under:
1st Evan Geiselman
2nd Tanner Strohmenger
3rd Christian miller
4th Tyler Thornsley
5th Nathan Colbourn
6th Noah Scweizer

Boys 14 & Under:
1st Evan Thompson
2nd Taylor Brothers
3rd Christian Miller
4th Tyler Thornsley
5th JC Dillon
6th Peter Polanski

Boys 16 & Under:
1st Tyler Crawford
2nd Evan Geiselman
3rd Oliver Kurtz
4th Mikey Fitts
5th Roman Strohmenger
6th Andy Karabincheck