There are many trips for young surfers, but very few trips specifically for groms. Groms get shots now and then, they sneak onto a boat-trip, they have Nationals and a few specialty events. But rarely do they get a feature in a mag. SURFING's associate photo editor Jimmy Wilson was aware of this cruel and unusual fact. He also knew there were a few groms in the 14-year-old range, who given the opportunity, would give a certain wave in Nicaragua some real hell. So he called some team managers, booked a place, basically arranged the entire trip, and the boys flew in from California, from Hawaii, from Barbados. He also knew that groms don't sit idle. So to fill in the gaps between surfs, candy, or when the winds turned awry, he gave them their own Olympic-esque games. They accepted, wholeheartedly.
The trip couldn't have gone better. The beachbreak fired everyday. The groms got their feature, a short film, this flipbook. They earned it. Sure, they're the best groms in the nation. They've got the sponsors, win all the Am-contests and even pro-juniors. But it was something else we saw in them that separates their kind from the older crop. And why we'll being doing another one of these trips next year: Pure, unjaded stoke. It was refreshing. They were psyched on everything. Getting stuck in a Third World roadblock-protest. Getting stuck behind a live cattle crossing. Banana smoothies. Throaty tubes. Wedgy sections. Thunder and lightning. Dawn. Dusk. Everything was continually new and exciting for them. Every day. Their energy was infectious and reminded all of us why we love surfing and furthermore, life itself. So thanks, groms. Trying to be a grown-up so often — you almost forget. —SURFING
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