ESA Partners with Rip Curl for the USA East Coast GromSearch Series

The Eastern Surfing Assocation (ESA) announced this week that it is working with Rip Curl to provide a pathway for its younger All-Star competitors to gain slots into its East Coast GromSearch Series events in 2019 – New Smyrna Beach and Nags Head.

ESA All-Star Summer Love surfing in the 2018 GromSearch Series event in Ventura, CA.

“Rip Curl has been a great supporter of the ESA All-Stars for many years,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director.  “It makes sense to work with Rip Curl to offer our talented All-Star competitors these popular slots into their GromSearch Series.”

With continued excitement and momentum offered by the new partnership with the WSL, the ESA wanted to offer its younger All-Stars an opportunity to compete on an international level as well.

“Since we are now qualifying ESA competitors from the Mens, Womens, U18 and U16 divisions for the East Coast WSL QS and Jr Pro events, we wanted to give our U14 divisions something to work towards in to gain additional experience,” said Sommers.

ESA All-Star Carl Burger surfing in a 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch event. Photo credit: @williamgoldsmithphotography

According to the Rip Curl website, the worldwide GromSearch series is held for male and female surfers aged 16 years and under, commonly referred to as “groms”, with the aim of the GromSearch to nurture and recruit the next generation of surfers at a grassroots level.

“These events are in line with what the ESA has been offering for over 50 years,” adds Sommers.  “Rip Curl adds an international level to the competition so ESA competitiors may surf against kids from around the world.”

“Rip Curl is proud to support the ESA, and the ESA All-Stars, which perfectly aligns with Rip Curl’s belief in supporting the next generation of young surfers,” said Matt Myers, Rip Curl’s Team and Events Manager. “We hope to offer a stepping stone for young surfers looking to gain competition experience at a high level fitting between amateur events and the WSL Pro Junior competitions.”

Former GromSearch champions include current WSL World Tour stars; Gabriel MedinaOwen Wright, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson, Kolohe Andino, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons.

ESA All-Stars Sarah Abbott (L) and Abigail Remke (R) supported each other at last year’s Rip Curl GromSearch Series event in New Smyrna Beach.

To qualify for the Rip Curl-sponsored slots, competitors must be a 2019 ESA All-Star surfing in the U14 divisions at their respective ESA 2019 Regional Surfing Championship.

The top All-Stars to finish in the Boys U14 and Girls U14 divisions will be awarded a slot, provided they have been an active ESA member, competitor and volunteer throughout the 2018 and current 2019 seasons.

“We want our strong competitors to get into these events, but we also want to be sure that they are strong representatives of the ESA,” said Sommers.

For more information, contact Michelle Sommers at


Leave a Reply

ten + three =