11. Evan Geiselman
August 31, 1993 // New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The label of “freak” is thrown around far too liberally these days, but when placed on Evan Geiselman, it’s an accurate description. Evan has the rare ability to paddle out in small onshore waves and bag enough video clips to populate a YouTube channel. While his freesurfing ability is destined to make him a video star, his big breakthrough in 2010 came when he won the U.S. Open Pro Junior at Huntington Beach. Not since the Hobgoods has a goofyfoot from the eastern seaboard shown such promise.
12. Conner Coffin
July 13, 1993 // Santa Barbara, California
Conner Coffin, and his brother, Parker, used 2010 to launch their blog (Young Wise Tales), where they proceeded to entertain with their posts and provide eye candy to the masses via various clips of hot chicks and perfect surf. Clearly, the brothers know their audience but they also know how to buckle down and surf. Comfortable in everything from waist-high Rincon, to double-overhead Off The Wall, Conner’s style is a blend of old school power mixed with modern tech. A month into 2011, this approach had already garnered him a third place finish at the 6-Star Hurley Pro Junior at Burleigh Heads, a momentum-adding result that could help set the pace for the rest of his year.
13. Jack Freestone
April 7, 1992 // Coolangatta, Australia
In the last two years, Jack Freestone has gone from a blip on the grom comp radar to both a freesurfing and competitive force. Filling out quickly, he has the size and power to balance out the above-the-lip aspects of his surfing. And in a jersey, his results speak for themselves. The highlight in 2010: a world championship on the ASP World Junior Tour. Signed to a newly inked deal with Billabong in January, and with two more years among the Pro Junior ranks, expect to see more good things from this regularfoot from Coolangatta.
14. Marc Lacomare
July 4, 1990 // Hossegor, France
This talented Frenchman has been knocking on the door of a major Pro Junior win for years. It finally came at the Billabong World Juniors at Narrabeen. A competitive force in Europe for some time, Marc has been chipping away on the global stage with consistent final and semifinal finishes. But Lacomare’s ability in a jersey is just a part of the puzzle, and he’ll need to continue to gain international media exposure and develop his act outside the competitive realm before he can be considered among the world’s best surfers.
15. Dale Staples
January 4, 1991 // St. Francis Bay, South Africa
Scouting reports had Dale Staples pegged as the next big thing to come out of South Africa. A quiet year in 2009 kept him off the Hot 100 list last year, but in 2010 he found form with a second-place finish in the Oakley Pro Junior in Bali and a quarterfinal finish at Narrabeen. Like his countryman, Jordy Smith, Dale is of the slightly larger variety of surfer and uses his size well in all conditions—and has the repertoire to match. Being his last year in the Hot 100, Dale will have to lift his international profile if he wants to be considered among the country’s top exports.
16. Davey Cathels
March 3, 1991 // North Narrabeen, Australia
In addition to his skills in the water, it’s clear Davey Cathels has a sense of humor. Online, he lists the following as his main set of goals: “Win the Men’s WCT. Then have a sex change and win the Women’s WCT…all as a rookie.” Assuming he’s only serious about his aspirations on the male side of the draw, Cathels is already off to a good start. A perennial standout on the Australian Pro Junior circuit, he’s also gained experience against the best young surfers in the world at both the Billabong World Junior Championships and at the Oakley World Pro Junior in Bali. The clearest indicator, however, that Cathels’ competitive campaign is off to a good start came beyond the Junior tier in September when he won the four-star Billabong Tsurigasaki Pro in Japan.
17. Kiron Jabour
January 10, 1991 // Sunset Beach, Hawaii
Although his name may not currently carry the same clout as other surfers on this list, ask any insider and they’ll tell you that Kiron Jabour has all of the earmarks of a future great. In 3-foot beachbreak ramps, Kiron is just as likely as anyone to stomp the air of the day. But it’s in 10- to 12-foot Pipe that he shines. Kiron is quickly cementing himself as one of top young Pipe surfers on the North Shore. Competitively, he furthered his standing on the Pro Junior tour where he finished equal fifth in Bali and at Narrabeen last year. With another year left on the Pro Junior circuit, we expect Kiron to take one of the top Pro Junior slots next season.
18. Andrew Doheny
October 20, 1992 // Newport Beach, California
This natural talent has been on our radar for quite some time, but as the Newport kid has grown, so have our expectations. He won the 2010 Oakley Pro Junior at Lowers, and finished at a respectable fourth place in the NSSA Pro Junior rankings. Beyond competition, Doheny is an amazingly fluid freesurfer, as shown in his impressive performance in last year’s High Five. His blog, 3slobs.com, which he shares with fellow young Newport rippers Ford Archbold and Kyle Kennelly — colors “Droid” as a sort of devil-may-care surf bohemian. Some may liken his image to that of Dane Reynolds, but as he gets older he will have to step up both his contest and freesurfing before that comparison can be made in earnest.
19. Dillon Perillo
May 13, 1990 // Malibu, California
One of the most respected surfers among his peers, Dillon Perillo established himself as a standout on the NSSA and the ASP North America Pro Junior tours. In 2010, however, he began to reap the rewards of all that hard-fought success with exactly what every pro surfer dreams of: an extended travel/free-surf program underwritten by their sponsor. Courtesy of Rip Curl, Perillo spent a good portion of the last year on The Search, starring in its Tip-2-Tip project and essentially making every wave-hungry, web-browsing surfer jealous. And while his One World Ranking undoubtedly suffered from this switch in focus, his polished and explosive surfing, as well as his exposure, certainly didn’t.
20. Dean Bowen
June 22, 1991 // Gerrigong, Australia
Dean Bowen built his reputation using an unbeatable, two-part formula: He wracked up a slew of contest results among the international Pro Junior ranks (most during a blitz in 2009) and, when not responding to heat horns, slotted into some of the scariest, heaviest slabs in the world. The only problem with this approach is that latter can sometimes be hazardous to one’s health, a lesson Bowen learned in May when he cracked his kneecap at a mutant double-up in New South Wales. Understandably, the injury caused him to have a quiet back half of the year. The good news is he came out of the water smiling, despite the pain, an indicator that it will take more than broken bones (and thick, freaky slabs) to rattle him.