HONOLULU (August 24, 2021) – A significant change to the iconic T&C Surf Grom Contest took place this summer due to the pandemic by moving the entire event online. In prior years, the grom contest has been held on the shores of Waikiki. The submission-based contest was spread over an eight-week period without the traditional time limitations or heats of a typical surf contest. The digital format drew 232 competitors from across Oahu with a few from the neighbor islands.
For our first virtual event, we were able to navigate our way through the process. We created an online entry form and payment for participants. We incorporated an all-in-one platform with easy integration into our website to host video clips submissions to allow for virtual judging and scoring. Participants took on the challenge and were able to navigate their way and submit a digital entry. Each entry was reviewed and judged on a 0.1-10 point system based on the HASA judging criteria for high performance surfing and focused on major maneuvers with combinations and variety in the most critical sections of the waves submitted.
Entrants had most of their summer from early June until the end of July to capture themselves surfing a wave at Queens. The location is fitting since it is a first taste of competitive surfing for most kids, and the mellow approachable wave at Queens and Baby Queens is perfect for the keiki. The contest is also unique because it limits the field to only surfers who have yet to compete in sanctioned events like HSA and NSSA, offering kids a taste of competitive surfing without all the pressure that other junior surf events bring.
The event wrapped up this past Sunday with a contactless prize pick up for all competitors. Families arrived with keiki, with everyone in masks remaining in their vehicles to pick up their winnings. Groms from six to twelve years of age from across the island chain who competed virtually in boys and girls shortboard, longboard, and bodyboard divisions were eager to see what they won. Every participant scored a goodie bag filled with assorted surf swag and had a chance to win big with our lucky prize drawing. The top three finishers in each division drove away stoked with a medal and a prize pack filled with product from contributing sponsors Dakine, RVCA, Vans, Vertra, and so many more. A hundred percent of the event proceeds benefited our non-profit partner The Boys and Girls Club of Hawai’i.
T&C founder Craig Sugihara said, “Though we were unable to hold the event in person, I am STOKED that we were able to continue to share surfing with the youth of Hawaii and encourage healthy activity during the pandemic. The ocean is the source of so much positive energy and it shows through in the smiles and laughter on the beach and in the line-up. I am glad our crew found a creative format to make this happen!”
A special mahalo to our event sponsors: FreeSurf Magazine, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Dakine, RVCA, Vans, and Vertra.
Founded in 1971 by surfboard shaper Craig Sugihara, T&C Surf operates three divisions: surfboards, retail and licensing. The surfboard division operates from a state-of-the art shaping facility in Wahiawa. It provides our highly skilled board shapers with the best tools for designing and producing some of the world’s most sought-after boards. The retail division includes six locations on Oahu; Ala Moana Center, Haleiwa Store Lots, Kahala Mall, Ka Makana Ali‘i, Pearlridge Center, and Windward Mall. The licensing division has agreements around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. Visit us online at www.TCSurf.com.