Just spent a week surfing eight hours a day with some of the best young surfers on the planet. These kids kill it! Drew so much inspiration from their fearless, stylish, and progressive approach in the water.
The surf was solid—probably double or even triple overhead for some of the little ones at Cloudbreak—and they took to it so comfortably.
Twelve-year-olds John Mel, Jake Marshall, and Griffin Colapinto ran up onto completely dry coral heads going Mach 10 in the barrel from behind the takeoff spot at Restaurants, on numerous occasions. It was so radical; only a few of the Tavarua boatmen, Fijians, and pros do that. Each time the kids got thrown onto the reef, they paddled back out with some minor scratches and giant smiles on their faces.
Had the chance to surf with 13-year-old wonder girl Frankie Harrer at big Cloudbreak and dredging Restaurants. She was charging bombs that most grown men cower from. Whether she was air-dropping sets or caught inside freight trains, she always stayed calm, cool, and collected. Her all-around natural style makes for beautiful surfing.
Taylor Clark is the oldest of the bunch and was leading the charge with his crazy-technical skills and flow. He took the beating of the trip, spinning under the lip and getting launched on a big, unmakeable dredger. He rode some incredible barrels.
Mentioned were just a few members of the entire group of standout groms on the trip who will soon take the torch from the greats. The kids surf like small versions of the top 10 pros on the World Championship Tour. The crazy lines they draw from the bowl already shows that before long they will be in world title races and on magazine covers.
Surf photos: Morgan Maassen took some shots of me surfing with the kids.