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The kids score dreamy Lombok for GromSearch event

Taina Isquerdo © Hamish H.





Rip Curl GromSearch

Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia
28 - 29 March 2015

GromSearch Indo: "It feels like the WCT down here!"

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 March, 2015 - Lombok, Indonesia - The power of youth lies in dreams. And so it went at the dream factory known as the 2015 Rip Curl GromSearch held at Seger Beach, Kuta, Lombok in 3-4 foot glassy conditions. “I just got back from the contest site” said Rip Curl’s Pete Matthews after returning from a pre-dawn surf check, “It feels like a WCT down there!”. 

And why wouldn’t it? The annual GromSearch is anticipated by every junior surfer in the Indonesian Archipelago. The first in a series of Global GromSearch competitions that gives junior surfers from Indonesia and around the world an all expense paid trip to the International Grand Finals to be held at a secret location at one of the worlds best Surf spots… Could it be Australia? Maybe Brazil? The USA? One thing is for certain Rip Curl will keep the kids guessing until later this year when all regional Winners from all over the globe have earned their respective spots. 

This Sunday was Lombok’s turn to show the world what they have… And with nervous parents lining the beach, the young Argonauts, Indonesia’s finest juniors from as afar away as Java, took to the water with a determination and grit worthy of a World title effort. 

Ben Benson © Hamish H.

First up, under blazing equatorial skies, the girls. All bets were on the young goofy-footer Kailani Johnson from Bali, but fate had other ideas. In the end it was Taina Izquerido who just nipped current Champion Cinta Hansel by only one point. “I think it was her Puerto Rican Warrior blood” Said Proud Father Cacho Izquerdio, “She surfed to Kill”

The under 12 division always feels more like the main event. And it appeared that Bali’s Ben Benson was picking on the other kids with explosive, mature surfing that reflects his recent experience on the North Shore of Hawaii. “The big stuff prepares you for the details” Said Father Brad Benson, “ But in the end, at this age, c’mon, it’s all about the fun”. Fun or no, Ben Benson posted a 20.35 overall score as opposed to Kona Eru, his closest threat, at 15.35.

The tide was dropping, the waves…critical. Under 14’s. Tenshi Ishi, winner of Surftime Magazine’s Bali’s hardest charger award up against boys twice his age and weight, paddles out intent on a win.  What he did not anticipate was Dhany Widianto, the radical flyweight from Lombok, who started throwing punches from the first sound of the horn. Even competitors Ryuku and Bronson knew their fate was sealed when the two older kids went at it. Dhany dominated. And Tenshi had to dream of next year...

The big kids in the under 16’s category are always interesting, but with Raju Sena topping out at 6’1”, it looked like a World Championship heat with action to match. Raju is not only growing in height, but in power as well. And it showed. Big moves from the big kid took the day over the earnest field of Bali’s Rio Waida, Ketut Agus and Salamat Kathadi. Though flashes of competence were shown throughout, it was Raju’s electric display that took the day. Raju- another young surfer like Ben Benson with North Shore experience, Is this a trend? The other competitors hope not.

The finalists © Hamish H.

Tim Hain

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