The culmination of the sophomore season of the East Coast Grom Tour presented by O’Neill took place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in pumping October conditions ranging in size from 5-8 feet. After nine qualifying stops along the east coast from Maryland to Florida, event founders Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy, with assistance from Brad Beach and Hatteras local Elwood Wescoat, pulled the trigger to run the championship at the historic Hatteras lighthouse. The event kicked off with Grom Tour competitor Camden Hoover singing the national anthem. From the opening heat, it was obvious that both spectators and competitors were in for a show!
Heat highlights included an air and rail show put on display by Blayr Barton, Kanoa Wong, Stephen Muglia, and Reid Largin as they battled it out in the Shortboard Open final. Blayr took the win in Open, Boys' 11-13, and Boys' longboard, earning himself $1500 cash! Reid Largin snatched the Nixon Most Radical Maneuver award, and Kanoa surfed well all weekend, earning second place and a new AJW board in Boys' 11-13 and a respectable 4th place in Open. Floridian Preston Persichetti edged out the other push and go finalists to claim first prize and $250 cash, which he immediately said would be spent on a new Ben Gravy board. Max Bigney put his rail game on display and came away with $500 by winning the Boys' 14-17 division, and on the Girls' side, Callie Summerlin surfed her way to a $1000 cash and wins in both shortboard and longboard. Noah Harrell took the top spot over Mako Musilinas and the other bodyboard finalists to secure the $250 prize, and Porter Hall was honored to win the Elijah Cox Stoked Grom award. Other highlights included brave longboarders dropping in on massive set waves, beach football games, and the young push and go competitors and their parents getting their first taste of heavy Hatteras conditions. As the contest concluded, participants and their families met up at Real Watersports for the awards banquet, featuring incredible prize packs for the podium finalists including $500 cash for each first place contestant, and a brand new AJW surfboard provided by Sothis Glassing for second place!
Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy were very thankful for all of the sponsors and volunteers who chipped in throughout the year, and during the awards mentioned "I think we conquered exactly what we set out to do which was bring new kids into the activity that we love, while encouraging some of the best young talent the East Coast has to offer, the contest series has brought camaraderie and excitement back into a competitive format!
With a third season confirmed and the addition of New Jersey to the schedule, the East Coast Grom Tour presented by O'neill continues to promote a positive, family atmosphere while spreading the stoke along the East Coast!