You can call it the Princess Grom Diaries now that 14-year-old island phenom, Carissa Moore, has just taken down 60-plus other surfers to wear the crown at the 3rd annual Quiksilver King of the Groms event in huge Kewalo Basin surf.
The 2007 Roxy Pro runner-up came off the blocks taking no prisoners and ripping the head off the bombing south swell. The menacing swell threatened to shut down the event with double-overhead sets that sometimes walled out the channel entrance to Kewalo Basin fishing harbor. Boats had to stall out in deep water and let the biggest sets push through the harbor mouth. At times, competitors washed across the jetty gap, fighting a maelstrom of rip and surge to get out to the line-up. Across the channel the sets at Point Panic were some of the biggest seen in over a decade, and the waves at “Kewalo’s” were breaking as far out to sea as anyone could remember.
“The waves at “Kewalo’s” were breaking as far out to sea as anyone could remember.”
Carissa’s ability to understand the KOG format (you MUST claim your best ‘ride’ immediately after you kick out to have those points locked-in as your highest score) coupled with her agressive approach to the challenging surf at her home break kept her on the leader board till the final horn.
Maui’s Albee Layer, 2005 KOG finalist, came up a tad short on his final waves, but accepted Carissa’s charge graciously, commenting that he knows Carissa is as good as the next “guy” out there and you can’t turn your back on her, no matter what the conditions. All in all, an incredible day in the biggest summer swells of the season.
Carissa’s next challenge will be her possible appearance at the KOG World Final at Capbreton, France at the end of July. In the meantime, she has her studies at Honolulu’s Punahou School and a possible “warm-up” surf somewhere off the coast of Indonesia.
Knowing her competitive attitude and focus, if she follows through on the trip to France, right after an Indo barrel session, there really won’t be much GROM left in the aftermath of her surf against some of the world’s best juniors.