16 of the best Groms across Europe joined O’Neill Rookie Rippers last October at The Wave in Bristol, UK. A unique opportunity to be coached by some of the best athletes in the world.

In this edition, Johanne Defay and Jordy Smith each drafted a team of Groms to go head to head in challenges crafted by world-class surf coaches, Philippe Malvaux and Ben Skinner.

Out of the water, Groms received training, video analysis of their sessions, mindset advice and lots of Q&A time with the Pros. The jam-packed weekend allowed the team to build stronger relationships with our distributors, the local core surf community and the future of surfing.

Team Johanne took the cake for most points won and two lucky Groms were crowned MVP. Next year they will be sponsored riders of Team O’Neill.

The aim of the O’Neill hosted event was to inspire, challenge and empower the next generation of surfers, as well as to strengthen the relationship between O’Neill and the local surf community.

The Rookies were divided into two teams, led by world-class surfers Johanne Defay and Jordy Smith. The teams competed in various challenges designed by Philippe Malvaux, one of the most respected surf coaches in the industry and O’Neill team rider Ben Skinner, a13-time British Longboard Champion and a two-time European Longboard Champion, as well as a renowned shaper and owner of Skindog Surfboards.

During the challenges the rookies received valuable feedback and tips from the coaches and the pros, as well as video analysis of their sessions. They learned how to improve their technique, strategy, and mindset, as well as how to have fun and enjoy surfing.
Out of the water, the Rookies had the chance to interact with Defay and Smith, who shared their stories, insights, and advice on how to pursue a career in surfing.

In the end Team Johanne took the the win and two rookies were being crowned MVP.
Women’s MVP: Belle Betteridge (United Kingdom)
Men’s MVP: Samuele Agliani (Canary Islands/Spain)

The MVPs were awarded a one-year sponsorship deal with O’Neill. They will also join the O’Neill team of riders, which includes some of the most talented and influential surfers in the world.

O’Neill Rookie Rippers was a unique experience for the rookies, who not only improved their surfing skills, but also made new friends and memories. O’Neill is proud to support the future of surfing and the Rookie Rippers’ plans for 2024 are in the works and will be released on oneill.com soon.

Filmed by Sam Light and James Symmonds. Edited by Sam Light