Article

Hot 100 Men: 21-30

The definitive ranking of the world's best young surfers

| posted on June 01, 2011

Luke Davis. Photo: Burkard

21. Luke Davis
January 22, 1993 // Capo Beach, California

Luke Davis has been in the spotlight for a while now, and instead of flaming out (like some early-risers do) he’s right on track with his progress in both the freesurf and competitive realms. He finished fifth overall on the North American Pro Junior tour and competed in Narabbeen against the best young surfers on the planet at the Billabong World Juniors. Perhaps his biggest impression this year, however, came in Hawaii, where he was spotted charging at sizable Pipe and Off The Wall. The only thing lacking in Davis’ surfing is some power, which is another way of saying he’s still waiting to fill out, and that’s bound to happen eventually.

22. Tyler Newton
June 27, 1990 // Hanalei, Hawaii

Having cemented a reputation as one of Hawaii’s premier young Pipe chargers, there’s no doubting Tyler Newton’s mettle when the buoys start to strain. Each winter, he’s managed to impress us with his balls-to-the-walls bravado. But what many of us forget is that “Newt” is quite adept in head-high surf as well. Although we’d be the last to try and pull Tyler out of the lineup at Pipe, hitting the contest circuit and focusing on getting his name out to the rest of the world would do wonders to further his career.

23. Caio Ibelli
October 11, 1993 // Sao Paulo, Brazil

Caio Ibelli grew up on a small island off of the south shore of Sao Paulo called Gauruja, which is known for the same super-consistent beachbreaks that produced Adriano De Souza. In contests, Ibelli can ride through heats on the merits of his progressive airs, whips, and fin-ditches. His event-resume over the past twelve months included a Brazilian Junior Championship, the semis at the Billabong World Juniors, and a fourth-place finish on the ASP World Junior Rankings. He also spent some time in front of the cameras, landing a Surfing Magazine cover at heaving Bankvaults. While some pundits say his style still needs smoothing out, it hasn’t seemed to hurt him with the judges, or the photogs, so far.

24. Peterson Crisanto
March 20, 1992 // Parana, Brazil

Indicative of the current talent boom exploding across Brazil, Peterson Crisanto is yet another ridiculously adroit junior set to take the world by storm. On his forehand, Peterson seamlessly weaves deep-rail surfing with the modern aerial arsenal that has come to signify his South American ilk. To boot, his frontside slobs are clean and stratospheric. A tactician and adept competitor, Peterson had the biggest result of his career recently when he won the 6-star Hurley Pro Junior in Australia to take home the largest Pro Junior winner’s check in history at $25,000.

25. Alex Smith
December 26, 1990 // Kilauea, Hawaii

A senior in the Hot 100 class of 2011, Kauai’s Alex Smith has been quietly out-surfing most kids his age for years, but it’s that quietness that’s kept him out of the Top 10 on this, his final go. Tall but fluid, Smith can punt airs, thread barrels, and bury rails with the best of his age category, but he’s lacked the fireworks his little brother Koa was born with—no memorable haircut, no wild stunts, no quotable quips. But a very solid showing in the 2010 Triple Crown (making the 5th Round at Haleiwa and the final at Sunset) and a great Innersections part from a summer trip to Bali could be signs of a late-blooming superstar in the making.

26. Maxime Huscenot
May 17, 1992 // Reunion Island

Raised on Reunion Island and coached by Jeremy Flores’ father, Maxime Huscenot is looking to add to the French island’s ranks on the WT. In 2009, he grabbed the attention of every surf pundit when he became Junior World Champion at the Billabong event in Narrabeen. And while he dropped off the radar a bit in 2010 (he lost his Round 3 heat in at Worlds this January, and didn’t make the ASP World Junior Top 8) it’s clear that part of the reason was because he’s currently working to transition to the next tier of competition.

Ezekiel Lau. Photo: Maassen

27. Ezekiel Lau
November 23, 1993 // Honolulu, Hawaii

The past year has seen Zeke Lau mature on a number of fronts. Physically, he’s hit a growth spurt, transforming from gangly grom to muscular, 6-foot man. In the water, Zeke’s not only honed his small-wave game in Honolulu, but has earned his stripes this winter out at Pipe as well. Scholastically, unlike many of his counterparts, he has opted for a traditional education at the prestigious Kamehameha School. While he’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not always easy missing a boat trip to take a calculus test, Zeke says that he wouldn’t trade his top-notch education for anything. Extremely competitive, Zeke prides himself on the fact that he has to work twice as hard as his peers. Along with his natural talent, it’s exactly this kind of steely grit that will forge him into one of Hawaii’s future greats.

28. Shaun Joubert
May 2, 1991 // Mossel Bay, South Africa

Shaun Joubert came out the gates firing in 2011 when he finished fifth in Hang Loose Pro Prime event in Brazil. The result came at the right time for Joubert who had—by his standards—a mediocre run in 2010. Competition aside, Shaun brings all the best elements of South African surfing to the table with a smooth style and a vicious frontside attack honed on the many right-hand pointbreaks he grew up surfing. Apart from his athletic ability, Joubert has an artistic streak that is evident in both his surfing as well as his personal blog and photography. However, he’ll need either a string of good results or to spend some productive time in the U.S. and Australia if he wants to make any real impact on the international stage.

Balaram Stack. Photo: Glaser

29. Balaram Stack
September 5, 1991 // Point Lookout, New York

The novelty of Balaram Stack’s proximity to Manhattan (he grew up in a small costal town less than 30 miles away) has officially worn off, and what’s left is a 19-year-old with a bright future. While he won the first pro contest of his young career on his home turf this past fall, where Stack is really turning heads is at Pipe. He spent most of the winter in the Quiksilver house, paying his dues to earn a coveted spot in the surf world’s most challenging lineup. And with the $1-million Quik Pro New York showing up at his front door in September, the kid that helped put NYC on the surf map may just get a sniff at a wildcard.

30. Charly Martin
April 4, 1990 // Guadeloupe, France

Hailing from the French-owned West Indies isle of Guadeloupe, Charly Martin has managed to hack, punt, and carve his way to the front of the new wave of European juniors. After winning his second consecutive Oakley Pro Junior at Lacanau last year, Martin secured the 2010 ASP Europe Pro Junior crown, a feat that left surf pundits labeling him as Europe’s next big thing. Well versed in throaty barrels and mushy beachbreaks, Charly should be at the forefront of the European charge for years to come.

MEN 11-20 | HOT 100 HOME | MEN 31-40