Molokai amateur surfers rip it up at state championships
The young prodigy Taoa Pou, also of Molokai, competed in the menehune division and won a brand new surfboard for being the most inspirational surfer of the event. It was Taoa’s first time surfing Ala Moana and his first time ever competing off-island.
All Molokai competitors received a wild-card entry in the contest, but the grommies proved themselves by displaying their skills and finishing as high as some of the top surfers in the event.
Waves were on offer throughout the early rounds, reaching over four feet on the Hawaiian scale. During the final day the waves dropped to 1-2 feet.
This year’s championship had more than 200 entries from all over the state. It was the first time in its 45 year history that the competition offered cash prizes, which fueled competitiveness between the amateur surfers.
The grommies were throwing down buckets on each turn, playing hide-and-seek in hollow waves and flying low over sections. “The level of surfing was just incredible,” Shima said.
The top three contestants in each division automatically qualify for the Surfing America U.S. Championships at Huntington Beach, CA, in October.