After 1000 scary-good clips, 50,000 people voting for contestants in round two, Quiksilver scooped the creme off the top and landed on a beach in Brazil with 10 young surfers. Along weekend of junior surfing at the highest level of performance ensued. With Jesse Mendes as tour guide and Matt Hoy as spiritual guide, the groms ran rampant around the island of Fernando de Noronha in customized dune buggies, feasting on Brazilian BBQ, guzzling soda and doing the best surfing that anyone of their age group has ever done.
Perfect three-to-four foot sand-bottom wedges and an A-frame reefbreak were furiously lit up by the 10-pack, and it was clear from the start that choosing a winner would be no breeze. But a King had to be crowned, and when the smoke on the water had cleared, there was an undeniable number one:
Sebastian Williams. A half-Mexican, half-South African miracle completely deserving of the $20,000 winner’s cheque and of the cliched sentiment that he surfs well beyond his years. Airs, rail work, combinations – it’s all there. He will take part now of the Quiksilver team. All hail the 2015 King Of The Groms! In second place, Samuel Pupo came in hot with bleached hair and a fiery frontside swing to claim the $10,000 runner up prize. Like Sebastian, Sammy proves that surfing’s future lies in being an everything-specialist.
Thanks to Drink Up and Sony Xperia, there were still some gifts left in the purse. Sammy Pupo scored another $1,000 for his air game. Kian Martin plucked the $1,000 rail game cash. No one could match Sandon Whittaker in combo land, and he scooped $1,000 for his work. And it was Malakai Martinez who owned the Expression Session for another $1,000.
Keeping with tradition, the 2015 King Of The Groms was unlike any other junior surfing event in the world. And, it produced a crop of new stars to watch.
As of 2016, Quiksilver his happy to announce the event will come back with a new name: The Quiksilver Young Guns and will be completed with both a Snowboard and a Ski format dedicated to showcase the world’s best future riders.
Quiksilver King Of the Groms
1st – $20,000 : Sebastian Williams
2nd – $10,000 : Samuel Pupo
Airgame $1000 – Samuel Pupo
RailGame – $1000 – Kian Martin
Combo – $1000 – Sandon Whitaker
Expression Session $1000 – Malakai Martinez