Kuta, Bali – After crisscrossing the Indonesian archipelago from West Java to Sumbawa in search of the country’s most promising young surfers, the Rip Curl GromSearch is going Asia-wide, with back-to-back regional contests in Thailand and Bali this weekend.
The action kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 10, on the beautiful white sands of Kata Beach, Thailand. Following last year’s first-ever Thailand GromSearch, Rip Curl is bringing the entire kitchen sink to help support the growing Thai surfing community. For the first time, groms in Thailand will be able to compete for two spots in the GromSearch National Finals, to be held in Bali in October.
“Our goal is to make this the largest and most well-supported youth surfing event in Thailand,” said Rip Curl Southeast Asia Marketing Manager James Hendy. “We are pooling all of our surfing resources – surfboards, team riders, event staff – to stoke out the Thailand groms and show them what a fun, healthy lifestyle surfing provides.”
Rip Curl will set up a Surfboard Test-Drive Center at Kata Beach, giving everyone the opportunity to try out the latest Rip Curl Surfboards from top shapers like DHD, Tokoro, T. Patterson, Phil Byrne and more. Boards in all shapes and sizes will be available to take for a spin on Saturday. Rip Curl team rider Garut Widiarta, one of Indonesia’s most revered and accomplished surfers, will also be heading to Thailand to help judge the contest and provide instruction. The good times will roll into the night, with plenty of music, drinks and dancing at the launch party for the newly-opened Kata Beach Rip Curl shop.
The fun continues on Sunday, Sept. 11, when GromSearch lands at the long cobblestone pointbreak of Medewi Beach in Northwest Bali, for the fifth and final stop of the GromSearch regional series. As the only regional GromSearch in Bali, the Medewi contest is always a hotbed of young talent and intense competition. Last year’s GromSearch National Champion, Jeren Kiring, began his road to the World Finals with a win in Medewi.
At stake for the Under-16 groms competing in both Thailand and Bali are the four remaining spots in the Rip Curl GromSearch National Finals. The winner and the runner-up in the Under-16 division from each event will receive an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the GromSearch National Finals, held during the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival at Kuta Beach, Bali, Oct. 8-9.
The top two regional finishers will also be invited to participate in a week-long Rip Curl GromSearch National Training Camp, just prior to the National Finals, where they will receive top-notch instruction from Rip Curl’s world-class team of professional riders (transportation, lodging, meals and spending money is all provided to the groms courtesy of Rip Curl).
There is no entrance fee for participation in Rip Curl GromSearch events, and all contestants receive a free Rip Curl goody bag, Rip Curl T-shirt and hat. They are also given instruction on environmental issues by local environmental group GUS (Yasasan Gelombang Udara Segar), as well as the chance to participate in fun and educational games, and win cool prizes from the GromSearch sponsors.