Photos Mike Latronic, Tony Heff, Aukai Ng and Rebecca Brenes
After three long years, the T&C Surf Grom contest has returned to Queens, Waikiki, where a multitude of young Oahu surfers came out to compete in fun summer waves and win spectacular prizes. Entering this contest is an incredibly special opportunity for these kids to surf one of the most famous surf breaks in Hawai’i, with only five other surfers out in the line-up. T&C always does a great job of putting on an enjoyable event and making sure the kids are safe in the water, well fed, and overall, having fun. With over ten divisions ranging from boys and girls longboard to bodyboarding, everyone got their share of great swell.
The fun-sized, 1-2 foot surf and occasional 3-foot sets were perfect for everyone. However, a bit of inconsistency challenged the kids, teaching them the process of waiting patiently for waves in a high-pressure competition setting. Once the sets did come, these kids had no problem sending it down the line. All types of maneuvers were showcased, from cutbacks to nose riding, and even some little barrels. There was no question about the talent of these kids.
Some of the parents got in on the action in fan favorite divisions, Kokua, and Freesurf Quality Time. T&C’s Rider and Big Wave World Champion, Billy Kemper, shared waves with his two sons in fun conditions. And Pipeline charger and Waikiki local, Eala Stewart, gave his take on his young one surfing. “It’s actually more of a thrill watching my kid, to be honest. Just seeing their stoke in the water just brings me back to their age and going through that process of growing up as a kid from Waikiki and doing your steps of surfing different waves that we have in Hawai’i. The whole process is what matters, the journey.”
It truly is amazing how after all these years since the first Surf Grom Contest, T&C is still able to put on a wonderful family affair. The heat of competition and the excitement of being out in the Waikiki surf is what always brings the families back. “Craig Sugihara started this company in 1971, all about stoke and being in the water,” said T&C Ambassador, Adam Borello. “Lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t and that’s the amount of fun you can have when you’re out in the water.” There was no lack of fun at all this last weekend. Every grom performed their hearts out and made everyone on the beach proud. We can’t wait for next year’s T&C Surf Grom Contest, hoping it’s better than the last.