It’s ON Groms! O’Neill Cranks Up 2019 East Coast Grom Tour!

February 20, 2019 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Photos, captions and story by Tom Dugan

The good folks at O’Neill Wetsuits and Clothing have once again brought their Grom Tour to the East Coast and it’s bigger and better than ever. The 2019 O’Neill East Coast Grom Tour ( OECGT ) consist of a series of 9 qualifying events with the first one just held over the past weekend in Indialantic, Florida ( see photos below story ) and the following one scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd in Jacksonville, FL. Other upcoming contests will go off in North and South Carolina, Virginia Beach, New Jersey and Maryland. The final stop for all qualifying groms will be the OECGT Championships in Buxton, NC. This grande finale culmination will be held on October 5’th and 6th at the infamous third groin “Wave Magnate” in the looming presence of the legendary Cape Hatteras lighthouse. The Grom Tour is touted as a great entry level program for young surfers that want to have fun, meet new friends, and win some cool prizes. Surfers have a chance to win cash at each event and $500.00 for the season, excluding bodyboard and push-in. Each event is $40.00 to enter per division and there are ten different divisions that can be entered. Boys and girls 10 and under, boys 11 – 13, boys 14 – 17, girls 17 and under, boys and girls open longboard, open shortboard, open bodyboard, and push-in. To have a chance to qualify for the big championship event at Buxton you must enter at least three contest prior to that. Go to www.eastcoastgromtour.com for all the rules, regulations and requirements to enter and for all the 2019 tour dates and to register for events of your choosing go to: EASTCOASTGROM.SURFSIGNUP.COM.  

Nice and tight is how O’Neill rolls. A few sponsors’ tents, some boundary flags, and a board to post the heats on. Look for the tour at a beach near you. PHOTO : DUGAN

Logan Coluccio and his brother Gavin drove down from New York and grabbed some trophies to take home along with a brief respite from the cold Northeast. Logan showed here tucking into a nice tube in the second heat of the day made it as far as the semifinals and surfed with flair all day. PHOTO : DUGAN

Not only does Mako Musilunas excel at surfing he is also a two-time state wrestling champ from South Carolina. He mowed thru the Boys 11 -13 competition to the finals and ended up in 4th place. PHOTO : DUGAN

St. Augustine local Benji Lang drove south for a few heats and a chance to take home some swag and a trophy. He made it as far as the semifinals where a third place put him out of the running, but he did get a few nice ones before he left. PHOTO : DUGAN

All day long saw sets like this breaking up and down the beach. A clean one goes by with no takers. PHOTO : DUGAN

Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. It comes down to getting the right waves and ripping them apart to impress the judges and to get the high scores needed for the win. Logan Radd is no stranger to the finals but came up a bit short getting a 2nd in Boys 11-13 and a 3rd in Open Shortboard. Logan just couldn’t find the waves to grab the win. PHOTO : DUGAN

Long time Brevard Florida pro Phillip Waters taking his daughter Copeland out to compete in the push-in division. The next generation is getting ready to make their mark. Of course a bit of help from Daddy never hurts . PHOTO : DUGAN

Long time World Tour surfer and O’Neill team rider Cory Lopez was on hand to pass on the stoke. Cory had his kids Alana ( left ) and Luke ( right in yellow Jerseys ) along with their buddy Rad Regar competing in different divisions so he kept busy all day getting them wax, singlets, sustenance and showing them where to surf. A truly stoked Dad he was and all the groms all had a blast! PHOTO : DUGAN

The surf was so good all day the surfers could not wait to get out in their heats and ride some waves. The water and air were warm, so a lot of rubber was not needed to feel good in the surf. Savannah Love on her way to a 3rd in the Girls under 17. PHOTO : DUGAN

Boys 11-13 winner Braeden Kopec tucks into a little shore break tube adding to his heat total. Braeden also grabbed a 2nd in Open Shortboard adding to his trophy shelf back home in Flagler Beach. PHOTO : DUGAN

How many contests have wave quality like this? The waves stayed like this all day from dawn till dark. No complaints from the surfers or the event organizers were heard on this day. PHOTO : DUGAN

Grab your longboard, stand on the tail, and just cruise. Bear Von Horn cruising to a second place in Open Longboard while the eventual winner Ron Schweizer checks out his relaxed style. PHOTO : DUGAN

Gavin Coluccio scored one of the best tube rides of the event on this thick and deep one but could not find anything like this in his finals. Gavin got a 4th in Boys 14-17 and also in Open Shortboard. Keep an eye on these brothers as they are constantly pushing each other with every surf …. do I hear Lopez ? Hobgood? Slaters? Time will tell. PHOTO : DUGAN

ESA champ and finalist in about every contest he enters Carl Burger took home two wins: 1st in Boys 14-17 and 1st in the Open Shortboard. PHOTO : DUGAN

Small glassy wave were the call all day long and the kids surfed with style and aggression, ripping into every set . Bear Von Horn leans into a clean bottom turn. PHOTO : DUGAN

The early morning started out with perfectly grom sized, two to three foot glassy waves and stayed that way all day long . When the tide went out the tubes started up there were a few sets that were so perfect they had the beach hooting. PHOTO : DUGAN

Men’s Longboard winner Ron Schweizer grabs a smooth wall and prepares to run the nose in the finals. How could you not have fun surfing with nine feet of surfboard, three foot waves, warm water, sunny skies, and your buddies cheering you on with every wave you catch? PHOTO : DUGAN

The contest is over, trophies are getting handed out from event director Phil Jackson, sun’s going down, but the super waves are still there. Florida produced a great start to the 2019 East Coast O’Neill Grom tour and here’s hoping their luck continues all the way till the last heat is run at the Lighthouse groin. PHOTO : DUGAN

The O’Neill ECGT leaders – Seth Broudy standing at back left with white t-shirt and Phil Jackson throwing double shaka’s seated front and center – pose with assorted 2018 championships attendee’s at, Buxton, NC. PHOTO: Courtesy OECGT