Tanner Gudauskas’ (San Clemente) Oakley Lowers Pro run ended in the quarterfinals with Australian Wade Carmichael winning the heat 15.73 to 14.50. Despite the loss, groms on the beach rush in to show support and get autographs. Photo: Andrea Swayne
Tanner Gudauskas’ (San Clemente) Oakley Lowers Pro run ended in the quarterfinals with Australian Wade Carmichael winning the heat 15.73 to 14.50. Despite the loss, groms on the beach rush in to show support and get autographs. Photo: Andrea Swayne

By Andrea Swayne

The scene at Lower Trestles is always a popular gathering place for up-and-coming local groms as well as local pro surfers, all working to up their game on the eminently rippable break.

Groms at the final day of the Oakley Lowers Pro rush to support San Clemente-based surfer Tanner Gudauskas after beating Brazilian Miguel Pupo in Round 4. Photo: Andrea Swayne
Groms at the final day of the Oakley Lowers Pro rush to support San Clemente-based surfer Tanner Gudauskas after beating Brazilian Miguel Pupo in Round 4. Photo: Andrea Swayne

When a World Surf League event is held there, the groms show up in force as well, to support their heroes and catch a few waves of their own outside the contest boundaries.

That was the scene at last week’s Oakley Lowers Pro when groms—many sporting red G-Bros T-shirts in support of the Gudauskas brothers—formed a large cheering section on the beach and rushed to congratulate the local competitors, win or lose.

It is always an inspiring sight to see so many youngsters, all with World Tour dreams of their own, making up a large part of the audience and rubbing elbows with the pros and industry folks, having been afforded special access by their sponsors. It is also a wondrous sight to see the professional athletes happily willing to interact with the kids.

Groms are, after all, the future of the sport and every bit the VIPs their proudly-worn wristbands show them to be.

Groms rush to congratulate San Clemente's Tanner Gudauskas on a great run in the Oakley Lowers Pro after being eliminated in the quarterfinal by Wade Carmichael (AUS). Photo: Andrea Swayne
Groms rush to congratulate San Clemente’s Tanner Gudauskas on a great run in the Oakley Lowers Pro after being eliminated in the quarterfinal by Wade Carmichael (AUS). Photo: Andrea Swayne

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