Grom of the Week: Willow Wilder Holman

Just how does a 5-year-old get into ’80s hair metal? That’s a question perhaps only Willow Wilder Holman, our featured Grom of the Week, can answer. Not only is Willow, a hard-charging kindergartener, into some of the raddest ’80s bands, but she’s also obsessed with the boardsports life, recently winning the SC Open Skate Contest’s highly competitive, and amazingly inspiring, 5 and Under division.

Team USA Goes Gold

After a high-pressure, high-stakes week of surfing at the ISA World Surfing Games in Huntington Beach, San Clemente’s Kirra Pinkerton came out on top, winning the women’s gold medal and leading the American squad to their first team gold since 2009.

Lindblad Makes History at Super Girl Pro

After Stephanie Gilmore styled her way to a record-setting eighth world title just a couple weeks ago at the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles, history continued to be made in the water last week, as San Clemente’s Sawyer Lindblad turned in a tour de force at the Super Girl Pro in Oceanside, becoming the youngest competitor to win the event.

Grom of the Week: Bella Kenworthy

This week’s featured grom is Bella Kenworthy, a San Clemente talent who was on a tear at the Super Girl Pro in Oceanside last weekend. Ripping through heat after heat, en route to a very respectable third-place result, she promptly dispatched North America’s top-tier talent, including American Zoe Benedetto, as well as Japan’s Anon Matsuoka

Grom of the Week: Dane Matson

This week’s featured grom is Dane Matson, a powerful goofy-footer who is anchoring the San Clemente High Surf Team this year. Matson is focused, determined and extremely talented, as he looks to lead the Tritons to more glory this year.

It’s Finals Time

The world’s top surfers have landed in San Clemente this week as they get set to compete in the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles sometime between Sept. 8-16. With the WSL’s top five men and top five women in town for the one-day, winner-take-all sprint for the 2022 world titles, it would appear, based on Surfline’s forecast, that Lowers could deliver some great surf for these competitors, including the top ranked Carissa Moore and San Clemente resident Filipe Toledo.

Grom of the Week: Samaira Lizzi

This week’s featured grom is Samaira Lizzi, an 11-year-old San Clemente ripper who’s been getting into a competitive spirit recently, showing up at the Western Surfing Association competition at Trail 6, where she came in strong with a sixth-place finish in the Under 12s.

Want to Sell an Old Surfboard?

As a self-proclaimed surfboard hoarder still in the early stages of recovery, Jake Howard understands the hassle and heartbreak of parting ways with old boards collecting dust in the rafters of his garage. Fortunately for him this summer, USEDSURF in San Clemente came through, helping him offload some boards on the rack at home while putting a bit of cash in his pocket.

Grom of the Week: Noah Lavik

This week’s featured grom is San Clemente’s Noah Lavik, who finished runner-up in the highly competitive Boys Under 14 division during the Western Surfing Association’s season kickoff at Trail 6 earlier this month.

Rip Curl WSL Finals Lineup Locked In

With the 2022 WSL Championship Tour regular season wrapping up last week in Tahiti, it’s time to shift gears and get ready for the Rip Curl WSL Finals, Jake Howard reports. Defending world champ Carissa Moore and San Clemente resident Filipe Toledo, who has his sights set on capturing the first world title of his already accomplished career, come into this battle royal of a surf contest as the No. 1 seeds.

The Man Who Started It All

The Dana Outrigger Canoe Club’s annual Whitey Harrison Canoe Classic, during which 9-person outrigger canoes race for 20 miles from Dana Point Harbor to Laguna Beach and back, is a bit of living, breathing, paddling history, Jake Howard writes this week. Named after Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison, the race is dedicated to the man’s memory and legacy, as he’s considered one of the earliest pioneers of California surf and beach culture.

Groms of the Week

While summertime may be over for the groms who headed back to school this week, there’s still more goodness to come in the weeks and months ahead, Jake Howard reports, while wishing the student surfers an epic school year.

Grom of the Week: Lucas Senkbeil Cassity

This week’s featured grom is Lucas Senkbeil Cassity, who claimed his first NSSA National Title this summer when he won the Boys division at the National Championships in Huntington Beach. Demonstrating maturity beyond his years, his surfing was fast, radical and progressive.

A True Beach Life

Surf pioneers and longtime friends were at last able to gather on Beach Road last week to say their final goodbyes to Wayne Penn Schafer, who died in his Poche Reef home at 91 in June 2020. Schafer, who lived a true beach life, always bringing his friends along for the ride, was instrumental in the development of the original Hobie Cat with the late Hobie Alter, Jake Howard reports this week.