10/10/2019
Meet the 2019 GromSearch National Final Top Contenders!

The Rip Curl GromSearch National Final is Headed to BSR Surf Resort - Hear from the Top Contenders!

In its 20th year of existence, the Rip Curl GromSearch established in 1999, is preparing for a historic National Final. The 2019 series presented by Banzai Bowls is set to host the first ever junior event at the world-famous BSR Surf Resort in Waco, Texas. Seventy-two of the nation’s best groms (16 & under) will converge on BSR’s man-made wave pool perfection to compete for National Championship Title’s!

In breaking news, Rip Curl is excited to announce the 16/U Boy’s and Girl’s National champions will earn themselves an all-expense paid trip to compete in the RCGS International Final, which is returning to its original home of Bells Beach, Australia, in conjunction with the WSL World Championship Tour event in 2020.

Being the first junior event ever ran in the pool, we wanted to find out how the competitors were prepping for this historical contest. We recently caught up with the number one contender from each division to see how they are preparing for this exciting event:


 

“Levi

Levi Slawson

Boys 16/U - Top Contender

Age: 16
Hometown: Encinitas, CA
Home break: Seaside Reef
Sponsors: Salty Crew, Nixon, Oakley, DHD surfboards, Surfride, Dakine


What board & dimensions to do plan to surf at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort? Is this your normal board or different for this venue?
I will be riding a DHD, epoxy DNA model- 5’6 x 18 1/8 x 2 3/16. It’s my first stringerless board, I think it will be super springy in the pool.

Which GromSearch competitor is your toughest competition?
Not just one, everyone in the GromSearch National Final is super gnarly!

What are you most looking forward to at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort?
Mostly just looking forward to surfing my first surf comp in a wave pool, so rad that Rip Curl and BSR are having the National final there!

Are you treating this event at the BSR wave pool any differently than a normal (ocean) contest, and why?
Yeah, I definitely am cause it’s nothing like being in the ocean, I think it will give everyone a good opportunity to go big!

What will it take to win the GromSearch National Final?
Going to have to make every wave count!

“Alyssa

 

Alyssa Spencer

Girls 16/U - Top Contender

Age: 16
Hometown: Encinitas, CA
Home break: Seaside Reef
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Skull Candy, Chanel Islands, PowerCrunch, Sexwax, Hansens, Dakine, Vertra, Fish101


What board & dimensions to do plan to surf at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort? Is this your normal board or different for this venue?
I’ll be riding my CI Fever 5'6' 17 7/8" 2 1/8". It is my normal short board.

Which GromSearch competitor is your toughest competition?
I think everyone is a tough competitor and we challenge each other. There are no easy heats in any competition.  All the girls surf so well and push the progression of surfing. Every girl rips!

What are you most looking forward to at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort?
I am looking forward to competing at BSR because it is new and exciting to have the event in a wave pool where the waves are predictable. It's awesome we all get to surf the same wave!

Are you treating this event at the BSR wave pool any differently than a normal (ocean) contest, and why?
I don't think my approach will be too different. I still need to be focused and be prepared for anything that can happen. Machines aren't perfect, just like Mother Nature, so I guess there is a slight chance of unpredictability.  I think I will still sit and watch heats prior to mine, even though the wave is repetitive, to see how each surfer approaches the wave.

What will it take to win the GromSearch National Final?
To win this event it will most likely be the person who takes their surfing to the next level, the one who pushes their surfing the furthest will win.

“Kai

Kai Martin

Boys 14/U - Top Contender

Age: 14
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Home break: Kewalo
Sponsors: Billabong, Slater Designs, FCS surf, Vertra, Sticky Bumps, Skullcandy


What board & dimensions to do plan to surf at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort? Is this your normal board or different for this venue?
I’m riding my standard Slater Designs 5’6 FRK by Dan Mann.

Which GromSearch competitor is your toughest competition?
All these guys rip, so they’re all tough!

What are you most looking forward to at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort?
I think this may be the first pool championship event for groms, so I’m stoked to be a part of it. The Rip Curl GromSearch brings everyone together from across the US, so it’s fun to hang with everyone and catch up

Are you treating this event at the BSR wave pool any differently than a normal (ocean) contest, and why?
I’m just going to go out there and surf. Keep it simple and hopefully stay on my board and put a couple good rides together.

What will it take to win the GromSearch National Final?
Speed, power and flow!

“Jackson

Jackson Dorian

Boys 12/U - Top Contender

Age: 13
Hometown: Kona, HI
Home break: Banyans
Sponsors: Billabong, Slater Designs, Mokulele Airlines, Dakine, Futures


What board & dimensions to do plan to surf at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort? Is this your normal board or different for this venue?
My normal board. 4’4 sci-fi from Slater designs.

Which GromSearch competitor is your toughest competition?
Jak Zeits or Diesel Storm Butts!

What are you most looking forward to at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort?
Competing in a wave pool for the first time!

Are you treating this event at the BSR wave pool any differently than a normal (ocean) contest, and why?
It’s cool because you don’t have to worry about wave selection so you can focus on just surfing only!

What will it take to win the GromSearch National Final?
I think it will take big airs to win!

“Luke

Luke Swanson

Banzai Bowl’s Air Show - Top Contender

Age: 15
Hometown: Haleiwa, HI
Home break: Rocky Point
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Banzai Bowls, Nakto Electric Bikes, Channel Islands Surfboards, Futures fins, Surface Sun Systems, Dragon Alliance, Cobian Footwear, Freak Traction, Mokulele Airlines


What board & dimensions to do plan to surf at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort? Is this your normal board or different for this venue?
I will be bringing a “Rook 15” and a “Fever” shaped by Britt Merrick at C.I. Both will be 5’7’’ squash tail’s and the “Rook 15” will be modified to have Spinetek, (carbon fiber strips to improve flex and responsiveness). The Rook 15 will be an Epoxy, to make it strong and light. I think the Rook 15 will be my go-to, but I’m curious to see how my Fever will work too. I will also have a Neckbeard 2 with Spinetek with me in case I feel like launching super high airs.

Which GromSearch competitor is your toughest competition?
Brodi sale and Levi Slawson!

What are you most looking forward to at the GromSearch Championship at BSR Surf Resort?
Surfing perfect waves, launching big airs, and hanging out with friends!

Are you treating this event at the BSR wave pool any differently than a normal (ocean) contest, and why?
Yes! I am throwing wave selection, positioning in the lineup, and utilizing priority out the window. It will be the best surfing that wins, so I will be focusing on doing my best surfing and going for broke!

What will it take to win the GromSearch National Final?
Everything! I am going to give it my very best! The guy that wins will have a pretty big title to hold, and I want to be that person!

We look forward to seeing these top contenders take on the rest of the nation’s best juniors! Tune in to watch it all go down October 24th

HERE

Tags: GromSearch