The morning of October 24th, 2015 saw 125 of San Clemente’s most stoked 12 and under groms greet a picture perfect swell at T Street Beach for the 4th annual STOKE O RAMA! The amount of excitement on the beach, as the hooter for the first heat of the morning sounded, was enough to light the city of San Clemente for a week! As the kids made their way down with their bed heads, surfboards and sandy wet wetsuits in hand, parents clinging to their warm cup of coffee, the anticipation of the days event was tangible. We had new comers, new surfers, defending champs and ripping grommets all coming together to celebrate surfing in there own unique way, in an event that featured a non elimination format allowing the kids to focus on enjoying their rides and welcoming camaraderie in their heats! The divisions were Boys 12 and under, Girls 12 and Under, Boys 10 and under and the 8 and under “pops and pups” open for both boys and girls.
As the day unfolded the action in the water really heated up, with the events only perfect 10 ride coming from an electric performance by 10 and under Carson Kropfl on a well surfed overhead left-hander across the break. Following Kropfl’s crowd pleasing antics, the mightiest of the mighty 8 and unders took to the water with the support from their parent assist. The swell was already pulsing into that 6 foot range, and when you combine that with a rider standing about three feet tall it may as well have been Waimea Bay for these kids! The Entire beach lit up with excitement cheering on every ride with notable early round performances from past event champion Kai Finn who took on heavy carving maneuvers and made them look easy!
As the event marched into the finals for each division, based on the total of their two scoring rides from each heat surfed with the highest 6 surfers from each field advancing, the action continued to heat up! Previous event winner Brayden Burch secured the win in the 10 and under boys with surfing that was strong beyond his years. Each year, he seems to always be the tallest kid in his division, and with the consistent run of swells through out each year’s event, his solid frame allows him to make easy work of the conditions. In the girls 12 and under it Sierra Downer was who took the win with a very stylish and graceful performance. The 8 and unders saw Makai Bray take out his division to the unanimous support of the crowd on the beach. When the results were read out, Makai, overwhelmed with stoke, held his hands up high as he was lifted by the cheers of friends and family members alike. But perhaps the greatest moment came in the battle between the 12 and under boys as Event frontrunner Hagan Johnson and upstart Nico Coli went blow for blow, trading off lefts and sequencing together multiple hard hitting re- enteries. In the end it was Coli coming up with a clutch wave in the final minutes that saw him just edge into the lead for the big win! Other specialty awards went to the Positive Vibe Warrior himself, Matt Economoes for “Most Stoked.” The Costume contest was won by Joey Madison who wore one of the most classic looking shark outfits I have ever seen and it was Shaye Carabba who walked away with the Midget Smith “Best Sportsmanship” award.
The Stoke O Rama is a fundraising event, organized by the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation, with aims to generate funds to contribute to community youth water safety programs. Through the tremendous support of the events sponsors we were able to generate $10,000 to donate to the San Clemente Lifeguard and Jr. Lifeguard Foundation. Contributing to the special camaraderie of this event, it is run by volunteers and would not be possible without their dedication and handwork to make sure that the contest runs smoothly all day long, so a massive thank you must go out to them, we could not do this without you guys! With the 4th annual Stoke O Rama in the books, we would love to thank the City of San Clemente, and all the families and friends who came down to share their positive energy, stoke and love for the ocean. Whether it was your very first time competing, or you are an experienced little ripper, we hope you had an all time experience, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back at T street beach sharing the stoke next year!!