The junior team riders have been killing it in competitions this year. It started in July at the 2012 Skull Candy Oz Grom Comp when team riders Ethan Ewing, Isabella Nichols, and international test pilot Leo Fioranta were victorious in the U14 boys and U16 boys and girls divisions respectively. In the same month Kalani Ball took home the U16 Junior NSW championship.
Kalani lining up a nice floater
In September, super grom Luke Hynd took 1st place at the D’bah Volcom VQS in the U18 division, and mini unit Sandon Whittaker took 2nd place at both the D’bah VQS and Barton Lynch Blast off. In the same month Ethan and Isabella were victorious at the Queensland State Junior Titles in the boys and girls U16 division.
Test Pilot Mikey McDonagh proudly holding his Project 15 Next Gen post win
This month the groms are back on the road and back in the water. This time junior team riders Luke Hynd, Sandon Whittaker, Kalani Ball, Jacob Wilcox, and test pilot Mikey McDonagh all competed in the Cronulla Rip Curl GromSearch. In the U12 division Sandon surfed his way to the semis before being knocked out by an interference call and Mikey McDonagh surfed his Project 15 Next Gen to victory. In the U16 boys division Luke made it to the semis before being knocked out, while Jacob took 3rd place and Kalani finished 2nd overall.
Ethan Ewing all smiles after winning the SkullCandy Oz Grom comp
Isabella Nichols and Billy Harrison will both be competing in the Rip Curl GromSearch Jan Juc, Victoria. After that the junior team will be headed to final stop of the RipCurl GromSearch on the Sunshine Coast.
Test Pilot Leo Fioranta loves his DX1 and Project 15 Next Gen
Junior team manager Andy Tuttle is stoked on the recent success of the DHD groms. “We have been on the road for over a week now starting at the Volcom VQS, the BL Blast Off, then the Cronulla RipCurl GromSearch, and we will be finishing up at the Jan Juc RipCurl GromSearch. All the surfers are putting in great results in events that showcase the highest level of Australian junior surfing. The team has been riding the Project 15 Next Gen in competition and smaller surf and the Eager Beaver Jr. for punchy beach breaks. When the conditions are good and there are solid waves with some power the team goes for the DX1, which can handle size,” Tutts said of his team’s performance and equipment. “I am pumped for our groms, they are competing and performing at a high level but nothing is too serious and they’re having a good time with their mates. You can’t really ask for much more than that.”
Luke Hynd’s signature air reverse
“These kids really are the future of Australian surfing. Mick and I have chosen a few groms that we feel are special in terms of their surfing abilities and the way in which they carry themselves. We are trying not only to help these kids grow as athletes but also as ambassadors of the sport. These competitions are the same competitions that Steph and Mick competed in before turning pro and it’s a great way to get into the competitive mind set but while still having fun with other surfers from all around Australia,” DH said of the junior team.
Stayed tuned for more junior team rider updates and our ‘What I’m Riding Jr.’ campaign.