Story By Jason Hoover
Seth Broudy’s idea to give back to East Coast competitive surfing, along with Phil Jackson’s high energy to always stoke out a grom led to the birth of the East Coast Grom Tour. A series of contests spread out from Maryland to Florida for boys and girls 17 and under to battle it out in the water, while making new friends on the beach. The format and rules are similar to the WSL, providing the kids a chance to surf new waves and see new places while earning awesome prizes and stacking points to qualify for the ECGT Championship held in historic Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The sophomore season of the East Coast Grom Tour kicked off on Super Bowl Sunday at Howard Futch Memorial Park At Paradise Beach in Melbourne, Florida. Contestants and their families showed up to participate and witness a day packed full of chest to head high waves, shore break shenanigans, and a high level of competitive surfing! The contest started with the national anthem sung by ECGT competitor, Camden Hoover. Then it was on; kids hit the water for the 20 minute heats to chase prizes such as the Nixon Hottest maneuver, and a dollar cold hard cash given to every grom brave enough to pull into the heaving shoreslam! Spectators were treated to hilarious beach games of football and wrestling, as well as the always popular push and go division.
The action in the water included stellar performances by Braeden Kopec, Darien Pitcher, Carl Burger, Sarah Abbot, Jasmine Gailey, and numerous other kids not old enough to drive, but old enough to go hard and give it their all. Kopec, who won the Boys’ 11-13 division, also snatched the “Nixon Most Radical Maneuver” award and Nixon watch for his massive slob air! Saxon Wilson logged his way to the top spot in the Boys’ Open longboard division, while Jasmine Gailey edged out Fiona Sargente on the Girls’ side.
Jasmine also came in runner up in the Girls’ U17 shortboard final to Sarah Abbot, who was on fire all day. The always exciting U10 co-ed shortboard final was a battle, with Kanon King edging out South Carolina native Palladin Pellicia. During the Open Shortboard final, Darien Pitcher and Carl Burger traded high scores until the final moments, when Darien blasted over the lip and grabbed the score he needed to secure first place, Darien also notched 2nd place in the Boys’ 14-17 division.
With eight more events spread out through Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Florida, and with the championships in Cape Hatteras in October, stay tuned for the kids of the East Coast Grom Tour to show the world how much fun a kid can have while riding a wave!
For full results and information on the East Coast Grom Tour visit their website at www.eastcoastgromtour.com