Kaua‘i’s groms take on back to back competitions

Kaua‘i’s groms hit the waves this past weekend, some even taking home top finishes.

Brothers Alex and Koa Smith competed in both the Volcom Stone Pufferfish Surf Series competition at Banyons on the Big Island, Saturday, then flew to O‘ahu for the National Scholastic Surfing Association meet.

“At the Volcom meet, I didn’t have a good board, so I had to make do with what I had,” said 12-year-old Koa. He took second place in the 14 and under division.

“There were a couple of good waves, but I guess they ended the heat early,” he said.

That prevented him from getting the waves he needed to finish first.

“There were some good sets, but I was always too deep. I got a couple of good sets but I kept falling,” he said.

Koa currently holds the top spot in the NSSA Hawaii Explorer rankings. At Sunday’s meet on O‘ahu’s North Shore, Koa took first in the Open Boys Division and first in the Explorer Menehune.

Older brother Alex got a triangle for interference at that same meet, but didn’t come home empty-handed.

At the Volcom meet, 16-year-old Alex won the Junior Division and qualifies for the national meet in California.

“The waves were really good,” he said. “I only had to surf two heats so I tried to surf my best in the final.”

Alex currently sits at third in the NSSA’s Hawaii Explorer Juniors rankings.

“I won a lot of prizes (at the Volcom) but the big thing was qualifying for the Volcom Championships at Newport Beach. There’s a lot of money in the big contest,” Alex said.

For Kaua‘i’s young female surfers, Mia Melamed placed fifth in the Open Women’s Division at the Volcom meet at Banyons, while Malia Manuel won the NSSA at Hale‘iwa.

The next Volcom Pufferfish qualifying meet will be held March 31 on Maui. For more information on that meet, visit www.volcom.com. For more on the NSSA, visit www.nssa.org.

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