T&C Grom Comp 2024 Recap

Another epic Grom Contest is in the books! Our 26th annual T&C Grom Contest presented by Duke’s took place at Queens, Waikiki, on June 1st and 2nd with epic surf and perfect weather. Queens, the birthplace of modern surfing, blessed us with two days of pumping surf for the kids. The wave at Queens couldn’t be more suited for the groms with its inviting take-off to its mellow roll towards the beach. 

The format of the T&C Grom Contest Day keeps the vibe fun. The event only allows kids to participate who have yet to progress in the amateur surf rankings, such as the Hawaii Surfing Association(HSA) or the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA). This allows kids to get a feel for competing while mastering skills like time management in a heat, wave selection, and getting used to rules such as not dropping in on other competitors. Those that place in the top spots of their heat continue to the next round of competition. 

One ohana that has made this a yearly tradition for quite some time is Rosie Vierra-Schoening and family. She states, “We've been coming since my daughter was a baby and she’s done the Kokua division since she was old enough and came every year all the way up until this year! This year, she ages out, so this is her last T&C Grom. My whole family and halau came to support. This event is definitely a family tradition for us; whether she places it or not, just being a part of it is the best part. We stay from 6 am to 6 pm.” Rosie’s family’s roots run deep at this very spot, where her grandfather and uncles are beach boys and still run the canoes there. “This place is special to us; it’s our stomping grounds. My daughter and I both grew up playing and surfing here, from Walls to Canoes. A lot of the kids that grew up here are like our family, and Queens Beach is the perfect setting for this event. This is where it all starts and continues, as T&C always says, ‘Deeply rooted in the culture,’ and that’s what this event is.”

Day 1 started off with picture-perfect two-to-three-foot seas, translating into well-overhead surf for the groms on the outside and plenty of surf for the keiki in our Kokua division on the inside at Baby Queens. With action-packed heats from all divisions in the water, fun and games for all on land, lunch from Duke’s Waikiki, and tons of lucky-number prizes, including GoPro cameras, Future Fins sets, and custom surfboards, to name a few, the stage was set for an epic finals day on day 2. 

Day 2 saw a pick up in the swell to four-foot seas, with light offshore winds. The extra bump in swell opened up the left to high-performance action while the right served up a mean bowl section and the occasional barrel. A morning of preliminary rounds and semifinals set up our winners’ bracket for that final. The co-ed bodyboard finals took to the water first with our 6-9-year-old groms, where Ikaika Miranda took the top spot. Up next were our 10-12-year-old bodyboarders, with Landon Sato placing first. The girl's finals hit the lineup next with the 6-8-year-old shortboard division, where Kawailani Ho conquered the conditions to come out on top. The 9-10-year-old girls' shortboard heat was action-packed as all girls caught multiple waves, but Mikaela Johnson edged out the field with speed, power, and flow while even pulling into a huge barrel on the end section. In the girls 11-12 girls shortboard, Mahina Hailstones’ fast backhand attack impressed the judges enough to earn her a spot atop the podium. 

The boy's turn next as the 6-8 year-olds took to the lineup, where Kama Miranda stayed busy and found the right waves to award him first place. In the highly talented 9-10-year-old division, local boy and multiple T&C Grom Contest winner Rowan Nixon mixed it up on the rights and lefts to come out on top of North Shore’s Mason Harmon’s goofy foot frontside attack. In our big grom’s 11-12-year-old shortboard division, Jeremiah Fritz’s combination of maneuvers on the left set him apart from the in-form snaps by Cade Bernier on the right. Up next were our longboard divisions, starting with the girls. In the 6-9-year-old division, Kaira Dow took the top spot. In our stacked 10-12-year-old division, it was Sarasa Ishibashi’s fast footwork that got her to the nose of her board and all the way to first place, besting a field of talent including runner-up Ena Momoi and the favored-to-win Ehukai Thomas. Over in the boy's 6-9 year-old longboard division, it was Kenta Uchimura taking first. And last but not least, of our oldest longboarders, in the 10-12-year-old division, it was Yoni Amir atop the podium. 

This event could not have happened without the hard work of our beloved staff, our beautiful surfing ohana across the islands, and our presenting sponsor Duke’s Waikiki, as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Hawai’i, Freesurf Magazine, Dakine, GoPro, Futures, Vans, RVCA and many more that continue to support this special event. T&C President Ryan Sugihara sums it up by saying, “I am super stoked that our 26th Annual T&C Surf Grom Contest was a success and that we were blessed with such good waves for the kids! I know our staff, sponsors, and all the people involved have the best intentions in putting on a fun event for all the participants and families. Our driving force each year is to spread joy and share the stoke with as many kids and families as possible, bringing smiles to their faces. Mahalo to everyone who had a hand in helping to make this event possible, and a special thanks to our T&C staff and my family, too!”

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