The 2022 Rip Curl Grom Search qualifying has concluded, and 11 talented boys and girls will travel to Lemoore, Ca. and compete at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in an attempt to be named the top Groms.
Over the years, such top stars as Gabriel Medina, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Filipe Toledo, Stephanie Gilmore and Tatiana Weston-Webb have participated in this event.
This year, three rounds of qualifying were held in 4 divisions with only the winners advancing on. From Huntington Beach, to Hawaii to Florida, the groms traveled to take their best shot at making the finals.
An added perk this year, was the announcement that the finals would be held at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch, a dream destination for many young surfers.
The reason there are 11 competitors and not 12 is that Huntington Beach's Petey Romaniuk, won two age groups in Florida, and will get two chances to win. Here is a look at the finalists with their high heat scores of their event.
Huntington Beach Qualifiers
12 u boys - Kahlil Schooley - 7.50, 6.27 (13.77)
14 u boys - Will Deane - 7.37, 8.50 (15.87)
16 u girls - Vahiti Enzo - 8.00, 7.33 (15.33)
16 u boys - Lucas Senkbeil - 7.00, 7.23 (14.23)
Photos provided by Don August
"It means a lot to me because it gives me a chance to surf one of the best wave pools ever made," said Lucas Senkbeil-Cassity. "I'm super grateful to be able to for there for the first time."
12 u boys - Kona Costa - 7.27, 7.67 (14.94)
14 u boys - Kenny Nishimoto - 4.33, 7.53 (11.86)
16 u girls - Malia Moana Lima - 6.83, 7.07 (13.90)
16 u boys - Luke Tema - 9.57, 6.23 (15.80)
Photos provided by Don August and Malia Moana Lima
"I really wanted to get a chance to go to Kelly's wave pool," said Luke Tema. " I've been there once when I was 12 with Hurley, but never competed there. I was happy to win the Grom search because they have some of the best prizes."
12 u boys - Gavin Bren - 5.33, 7.00 (12.33)
14 u boys - Petey Romaniuk - 7.33, 8.33 (15.66)
16 u girls - Kylie Pulcini - 8.33, 8.67 (17.00)
16 u boys - Petey Romaniuk - 5.93, 7.57 (13.50)
Photo provided by Don August, Kylie Pulcini and Tower5crewhb
"It means so much to win an invite to Kelly's Ranch," said Pulcini. "Not just everyone can go and it's such a huge opportunity. I can't wait to surf a perfect wave and hang out with my friends."
The competition begins on Saturday, December 17th.