By Andrea Swayne
Age: 14, California Virtual Academy
San Clemente resident and PacSun USA Surf Team member Griffin Colapinto made sure local surfers were represented on the winners’ podium at the 2012 Rip Curl GromSearch National Championship Saturday. Griffin took fourth place in the Boys 14U division, after distinguishing himself from among a tremendously talented group of surfers. “The final was fun and some pretty good waves came through. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very many,” Griffin said. “Kanoa Igarashi was ripping and took the win with scores in the 8.0 to 9.0 range. Everyone was ripping. I was stoked to even make the final.” The best thing about surfing in this year’s event, according to Griffin, is the practice and challenge it provides by allowing him to face the best of the best of the series. “I like the contest because we get to surf against winners from all over the country and I’m really stoked that Rip Curl put this contest on at Uppers, one of my local spots.” In addition to keeping up with his school studies, Griffin stays busy honing his skills in the Surfing America Prime Series and NSSA Open contests and practicing every day. All this practice is part of Griffin’s plan to work hard, stay focused and shoot for his ultimate goal of making it into the professional World Tour ranks by the time he’s 20 or 21. Griffin enjoys the independent study format of his eighth-grade classes and is considering continuing online classes through high school and college.