13 year old Panu Wisetsombat from Kata Beach, Phuket won 1st place in the first-ever RIPCURL GROM SEARCH series at Nai Harn Beach on Saturday, August 21, 2010!
The RIPCURL GROM SEARCH 2010 at Nai Harn Beach was the first of three events that are set for kids under 15 years old. With more than 25 up-and-coming young surfers in Phuket, including locals and tourists, the contest has sparked new interest in surfing among the Thai, foreign resident, and tourist youth.
The contest began on Saturday morning with sparkling overhead waves and brilliant sunshine. Although the following heats were made challenging by rain, wind, and low tide, the kids were nonetheless excited and stayed-on to show their surfing skill and impress the spectators. Everyone was made comfortable by fantastic and unlimited hot pizzas delivered from Davinci’s Restaurant!
The next RIPCURL GROM SEARCH will be held again at Kata Beach on September 4th and Surin Beach September the 18th. RIPCURL will have games and free gifts for kids and spectators alike, lasting for the whole day…. so come and join the fun for free!
THE RIP CURL THAILAND GROM SEARCH 2010 is sponsored & supported by Rawai Municipility, Karon Municility, OBT Cheng-Ta-Lay, Surfing Thailand, Komunity Project, Ocean&Earth, Phuket Post, Phuket 91.5FM, Thailand Surfrider Magazine, Davinci Restaurant and Nautilus SurfShop.
Check pictures and other RIP CURL THAILAND activity at http://www.facebook.com/ripcurlthailand
News and Editing: Steven A. Martin
3 Photos: Supat Onsuwan
Phuketindex went along to film the event early Saturday morning:
The 2 videos mainly show some smooth surfing skills by the young participants:
Part 1 shows them warming up, testing the strong wide waves, as the sun starts to shine, bringing out more families with young kids eager to have a go; while organisers and sponsors prepare the stage and tents, then register the participants. Joob Aiyarak, the main organiser, briefly chats to some of the keen ‘groms’ or kids, in Thai and English, while some play an egg game for prizes.
Part 2 shows the first ‘heat’ just as the sun begins to disappear as a big rain storm approaches. The first four tiny competitors do some clever little tricks to impress the adult judges, including Steve Martin who shows us how he scores them. Jenny Irwin, MC & radio DJ, chats with Joob, who is happy to see so many keen kids and looks forward to more coming at Kata and Surin, while he is also involved in the main adult international contest at Kata from 22-26 September. Safety is still important so they have to stop during the windy storm, but Jenny also chats to two of the young groms both from Kata – ‘Piak’ an 11 year old Thai boy, and Annissa, a 12 year old Aussie-Thai girl, who won the women’s adult division in Phuket last year. We have to leave as the storm’s heavy rain starts to fall, but the grom search still continues….