For the seventh consecutive year, Quiksilver successfully hosted its King of the Grom event at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.
“Tropcial Storm Barry, born on the first day of the hurricane season, was a welcome party crasher.”
Known for its unique Skins Format, the judging scheme rewards progressive surfing by scoring each surfer’s best wave instead of the traditional two or three waves milked-to-the-beach custom that has become all too
familiar in the competitive surf world. Contest Director Matt Kechele supports the change in pace of scoring, claiming it allows “the cream of the crop to rise to the top.”
While the month of June is notorious for the flat spell blues, this year was an exception. Tropcial Storm Barry, born on the first day of the hurricane season (June 1st), was a welcome party crasher. Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico late in the week between the Yucatan and Western Cuba and then trekked across the Sunshine State, giving Florida a much needed drenching (a record 5 inches fell in Melbourne) and a hopeful end to its long drought and numerous wildfires. As the squalls moved off shore, 25 to 35 knot winds sandblasted both contestants and spectators alike. Head judge, Jeff Klugel, claimed he had 3 pounds of sand encased in his right ear.
In the end it was Jacksonville’s Evan Thompson who came out on top with a record-setting 7 skins (worth $700) along with the event’s highest scoring wave.
Carolina’s Fisher Heverly took the $100 check awarded by Future Fins for pulling off the most futuristic maneuver of the event with his off the lip to nose stab on one of the most sizeable set waves of the contest.
Later this summer, event champion, Evan Thompson, will fly to France (all expenses paid) to compete in the Quiksilver World King of the Grom championships. Looks like North Florida is becoming a hotbed of elite talent with Gabe Kling from St. Augustine on the WCT this year and now followed by Evan Thompson who’ll be representing the East Coast in the Quiksilver KOG.