Excellent Scores And Entertaining Performances On Day Two Of The Rip Curl GromSearch

Published on 13/12/2022

SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND (13 December 2022) – Day two of the Rip Curl GromSearch saw glassy, two to three-foot peaky waves at Coolum Beach. The competition got underway at 7:30am with some of the youngest surfers hitting the line-up before moving into the blue-ribbon Under 16 Boys Division.   

Following on from a similar theme to yesterday, the majority of surfers who donned the red rash vest were able to progress through their heats. Some of the most impressive surfing came from Locana Cullen (Avalon, NSW) in the Under 12 Boys, who was able to score himself a 15.07 two wave heat total. 

Zac Johnston (Dicky Beach, QLD) and Louis Taylor (Peregian Springs, QLD) were also standouts of the young division and were able to progress through day two and have secured a position in the Quarterfinals. 

The wind increased as the day rolled on which proved no obstacle for some of Australia’s best Under 16 Talent. 2022 Under 16 Australian Junior Champ, Rico Haybittle (Palm Beach), put on a dominate performance in his opening heat of the Under 16 Boys, scoring the highest two-wave total of the day (17.50). On the other side of the draw, fellow QLD surfers, Zyah Hession (Coolangatta), Mitchell Peterson (Noosa Heads), and Landen Smales (Noosa Heads, QLD) made their mark on the field. 

One of the highlights of the day was the expression session judged by 2017 National Rip Curl Gromsearch winner Sasha Baker (Coolum Beach, QLD) and Sunshine Coast Rip Curl team rider, Ashton Pignat. 

Rip Curl Event Manager, Mark Flanagan (Torquay, VIC), said this was one of the biggest expression session turnouts he’s seen in some time.

“It was epic to see so many frothing groms, eager to capture the attention of the judges and win some Rip Curl prizes,” added Flanagan. 

The GromSearch Series runs in more than 10 countries, with over 3,000 competitors worldwide.

The worldwide series of events is designed for grommets and features Under 12 Boys, Under 12 Girls, Under 14 Boys, Under 14 Girls, Under 16 Boys and Under 16 Girls divisions.

Stay tuned for day two of the Rip Curl GromSearch and make sure to follow @surfingqueensland on Instagram for updates. 

Surfing Queensland would also like to thank the Sunshine Coast Council, The Point Coolum, QMS Media, We Are Feel Good Inc and Queensland Government for their ongoing support. 



EVENT 1 – Jan Juc, Vic – Sept 17-19, 2022

EVENT 2 – Newcastle, NSW – Sept 29- Oct 2, 2022

EVENT 3 – Coolum, Qld – Dec 12-15, 2022

National Final – URBNSURF Melbourne, March 2023  

(Note – all dates and locations are subject to the relevant local, state and federal Covid-19 restrictions and regulations).    

An inclusion for the 2022 season is the adoption of the National age division for the GromSearch series, with Rip Curl Event Manager, Mark Flanagan, adding “After consultation with surfers, parents, Surfing Australia and surfing state bodies we decided to align with the national age divisions for the benefit of all participants. It wasn’t an easy decision, but we thought we’d make the change to help unify development pathways for surfers in this region”.


The Rip Curl GromSearch series began as a single day event in 1999 and has developed into a world-wide series providing groms with the opportunity to surf with friends and test their skills against the best junior talent in their country. The impressive list of previous GromSearch competitors currently competing on the elite WSL world tour is testament to the quality of the series.

Former GromSearch finalists competing on the 2022 WSL World Tour include:
Tyler Wright*, Steph Gilmore*, Carissa Moore*, Molly Picklum, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Bronte McCaulay, Caroline Marks, Macy Callaghan, Brisa Hennessy & Isabella Nichols. (Note: GromSearch competitors have won the last 14 WSL women’s World Titles).

Former GromSearch finalists competing on the 2022 WSL World Tour include: Gabriel Medina*, Morgan Cibilic*, Filipe Toledo*, Italo Ferreira*, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, Kanoa Igarashi, Ryan Callinan, Leonardo Fioravanti, Connor O’Leary, Seth Moniz, Griffin Colapinto, Owen Wright & Sammy pupo. (*Note: 4 of the 5 surfers in the 2021 WSL Finals series were former GromSearch finalists).


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