Born into the highly competitive lineup at Manly Beach, Australia, before Barton Lynch could be the 1988 World Champion, as a grom, he had to scratch his way through one of surfing's most talented and established scenes.
"When I was a kid there were some older people who took me under their wing, like the great Terry Richardson, and those moments meant so much to me and carried me through my life," Lynch told the WSL. "So, after surfing has given me so much, I love to give it back to people, especially the families and kids."
Lynch hung up his Championship Tour jersey back in 1998, but continues to be one of the most passionate and frothed out surfers wherever he paddles out. A regular on the WSL commentary team, Lynch is also giving back to the next generation via his BL Blast Off video contest.
"It's a two way street, I get stoked on their surfing, their videos and their stoke, and we hope to bring that to the world and stoke everyone out," Lynch says.
A digital video contest open to boys and girls around the world under the age of 14, awards are given out for Best Wave, Worst Wipe Out, Best Tube, Best Air, Most Improved, and of course, the Stoke Awards.
"I look at the Blast Off as important work in community building and connecting people, that's what it's all about, and we need that especially in these times," Lynch continues. "These kids just want to surf and be stoked, and like us, they come in all different shapes and sizes, with different goals and experiences of what surfing is … but the froth is always real."
The submissions for Best Tube (included here) were simply jaw-dropping. To watch groms like Maui's "Baby" Stevie Roberson casually go the distance on a Desert Point runner is to get a glimpse into the future of surfing.
"I don't want to pick names, I'm impressed by so many of of these kids, but there's some hot spots of talent and stars of the future in Indonesia, the Canary Islands and the Pacific Islands, but kids are ripping everywhere. It's interesting to see, and I think it tends to be the places with the more challenging waves that help evolve a young surfer to a higher level faster. I've seen the kids that grow up on the reef breaks have a superior skill set to what we had at their age, that's for sure," he adds.
The video submissions runs from October 15 through to November 26. Watch for winners to be announced this December.