-Waikiki Beach has a very rich history. The iconic Diamond Head serves as a backdrop for Queens, the legendary surf break, named after Queen Lili’uokalani. She once had a personal summer residence a little further down the shoreline complete with a pier. Returning for the twenty-first year is the fun-filled T&C Surf Grom Contest. Every year over three hundred kids look forward to competing in this contest for the pure stoke of surfing the mellow waves of Queens. It is an annual pilgrimage to Waikiki for many of these local surf families. Those who are here for their first time, quickly learn why this contest is so popular. For many will gather to embrace the spirit of aloha and the lure of excitement geared toward the keiki and surfing that this event has been assembled upon. Presented by Chili’s Grill & Bar, this annual event will take place on June 2-3, 2018.
This year’s event has taken a slight change by in increasing the age limit for the ever popular Kokua division (parent assist) to include youth competitors up to eight years old. Traditionally the age group had been limited for keiki up to the maximum age of six. Taking into consideration those children who are still not comfortable surfing on their own after six years of age, this change welcomes more children to be able experience their first contest. It also allows others who have competed in this division to continue to compete up to the age of eight if they feel they are not yet ready to surf on their own. “The chance to share the stoke of surfing is what this event is all about,” says Craig Sugihara, President and Founder of T&C Surf. “Over the past 20 years our focus has been on providing an opportunity for those kids that do not regularly compete and give them a chance to gain some experience and feel the thrill of competition. Each year we look forward to sharing the stoke of surfing with a bunch of new kids. It all about fun! Historically, the mission of the T&C Grom Contest has been to get as many keiki in the water as possible. We are confident the adjustment of this division’s age extension will be a welcomed change.
Many repeat youth surfers will gather on Oahu’s south shore for the event with high hopes of medaling in their division. In contrast, the rookies will be represented well with a slew of fresh young faces eager to try out their amateur skills at competing for their first time. “The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii appreciates the partnership each year with the T&C Surf Grom Contest,” notes Tim Motts, President and CEO of The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. “Our organization and club kids look forward to this event highlighting the talents of so many of Hawaii’s keiki. As we serve over 14,000 youth each year, one of our focus areas is encouraging healthy lifestyle choices which includes getting out in the sun and having fun in the ocean.”
This contest is unlike the multitude of others on Oahu because it strictly excludes participants who have entered an NSSA, HASA, or any other competitive surfing organization contest from entering the event. T&C Surf produces the event each year to introduce young surfers ages 3-12 to the world of competitive surfing in a less-intense setting. Action will take place from 7am – 5pm daily with two huge days of surfing required to finish the event. Over 300 groms are expected to compete in this fun-filled event. Parents, aunties and uncles can join in the fun in the FreeSurf Expression Session, a specialty tandem event. This is a fun-filled competition for an adult and child to take to the waves and surf ohana style.
“One of the greatest joys about this job and the Freesurf and Boardstories project is being close to the stoke and youthful exuberance that comes with surfing and the beach lifestyle. Our partnership and involvement in the T&C Surf grom fest is a perfect example of this stoke and the wonderful feelings that being near the ocean and surfing brings out in our youth and our families,” says Mike Latronic, President of Manulele, Inc. and Publisher of FreeSurf Magazine.
The T&C Surf Grom Contest is presented by Chili’s Grill & Bar and is supported by the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Dakine, RVCA, Vertra and Vans. We strongly advise interested parties to get their entries in early as the contest is often full to capacity prior to the filing application deadline. Entry forms can be found at any T&C Surf location or online at events.tcsurf.com. The public can call 808-483- 8711 for more information.
About T&C Surf
Founded in 1971 by surfboard shaper Craig Sugihara, T&C Surf operates three divisions: surfboards, retail and licensing. The surfboard division operates from a state-of- the art shaping facility in Wahiawa. It provides our highly skilled board shapers with the best tools for designing and producing some of the world’s most sought-after boards. The retail division includes seven locations on Oahu; Ala Moana Center, Haleiwa Store Lots, Kahala Mall, Ka Makana Ali’i, Pearlridge Center, Ward Centre and Windward Mall. The licensing division has agreements around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Japan and New Zealand. Visit us online at TCSurf.com.