Red Bulletin

Surfing's new wave


Which of New Zealand’s next generation of surf superstars – ‘groms’ – will make it to the big-wave big time?

“Smile, Korbin,” shouts one of the surfers at the prizegiving for the Rip Curl GromSearch.

Korbin Hutchings has his game face on and the coolest pair of shades you’ve ever seen on a 13-year-old. He may not sing or dance, but this kid with the bleached blond hair has the X-factor. He’s just finished second behind Dune Kennings in the U14 final at the Rip Curl GromSearch, held at Piha at the start of December.

It’s his first year in the U14 division and Kennings is a year older, stronger and wiser (which counts for a lot on the water) but Hutchings is still a little disappointed with his effort. “I’m stoked to come second, but I could have done better,” he says. “It was hard. You’d look out the back and think there was a set coming, but quite a few of them closed out. There were a few good waves in between, but it was tough.”

It’s tough times for surfing. Like many other sports it has been affected by the global financial crisis. Sponsor dollars are hard to come by and the numbers entering surf competitions is down across the board (excuse the pun). In 2009, the Rip Curl GromSearch attracted 120 of the best 10-16-year-old surfers in the country. At the end of last year only 70 turned up for the Piha event.

For the full story pick up the January Red Bulletin Magazine.


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