Seth Moniz (HAW), 16, has won the North Shore Surf Shop Pipe Pro Junior presented by Woodward Group in epic fashion. The Oahu native bested a talented field of top junior surfers from around the globe in tricky 6-8 foot Pipe. Possibly the most groundbreaking event in junior pro surfing competition, some of the top 20 and under surfers in the world battled it out at the most influential surf spot on the planet. The third annual ASP Pro Junior event at Pipeline was an official ASP 1-Star rated event offering $5,000 in prize money.
The two-day event commenced Wednesday, March 12th. Day one was crammed full of crazy late airdrops, steep and deep tube rides, and cringe-worthy wipeouts. A solid 6-foot NW swell filled in through out the day, providing challenging, but at times, near perfect Pipe and Backdoor action. Competitors as young as 12 tore apart the most sought after wave in the world. Heat after heat, the swell continued to build. Easterly trades cooperated in the morning, offering clean and consistent surf. By the afternoon however, the wind picked up and veered onshore. Local talent continued to drop big scores, but conditions were becoming more and more challenging, forcing the competition off for the day.
A new NW Swell filled in Friday, March 14th and the contest was back on. Light offshore winds and the rising swell provided pristine conditions for the final day of competition. The morning started off at a friendly four foot, but as the Round of 32 came to an end, the surf began to fire. North Shore bred Kona Oliveira scored the first 10 of the contest, pulling into a solid 6-foot Pipeline bomb and getting spit out in front of a roaring home crowd. In the very next heat, sneaking in as an alternate, Kauai's Koa Smith posted a 9.90 on his first wave of contest. But it would be Southern California's Griffin Colapinto and Maui's Imai DeVault who would advance through the Semi's to meet up with Seth and Isaiah Moniz in the main event. Both the Moniz boys were hungry for victory. Seth had posted the only other perfect score of the contest in his Semifinal match up, but Isaiah wasn't fazed and looked unbeatable. The final was an epic brother versus brother showdown, but it was Seth who came out on top.
The event was put on by North Shore Surf Shop owner Liam McNamara, with the help of ASP Hawaii Administrative Director Faith Wenzl, Contest Director Shane Beschen and major sponsor Woodward Group. This is the sixth contest McNamara has put on in three years, elevating the level of surfing in Hawaii five-fold. The previous lack of opportunity for Hawaii juniors motivated McNamara to spearhead a change.
â€œI had the urge to give back to the sport that gave me everything,â€ said McNamara. â€œThe junior events give the kids an opportunity to elevate their knowledge of competition while earning valuable rating points and experience. My goal is to elevate the sport while giving a platform and opportunity to the future of Hawaii.â€