Five Young Guns Worth Keeping On Your Radar
School sucks with a capital Stussy “s”*. Competing on the world tour would be a dream come true. Hardy and Rawlins are wave-slaying demigods. And besides waves, not much else really exists.
There are certain epithets of gromhood that will likely never change. Others, however, have evolved at warp speed. Like, how the average teen hopeful is already a well-traversed wave mogul, more often than not having clocked up air miles to a myriad enviable breaks the world over (FYI, it only makes them hungrier for more). Or how most 17-somethings are now self-made marketing gurus expertly hustling, editing and posting their brand to a loyal fanbase on social media between classes. Then there are some with the above traits, and the added cachet of being able to surf circles around you.
Which young riders are the current cream of the next-gen? Five names have continued to light up our radar. Read what they have to say, then follow their every move.
(*Is this still a relevant youth touchpoint? No?).
Noah Gillroy, 15, Sydney Australia
Sponsors: VS, Emerald Bodyboard Specialists, Reeflex Wetsuits and Stealth Fins.
Local: Maroubra Beach
Favourite wave: Shark Island is my favourite wave and it’s because it has so much power and has a variety of waves, from long right pits to fun, left a-frames.
Describe yourself: I’m a BFG (Big Friendly Giant).
Is that what your friends would say? They’d say I’m big, hungry, and stinky.
Where do you want to go? I’m planning to do some of the Aussie Tour again, and to go to Bali for Ryan Hardy’s Coaching Camp; and hopefully somewhere in the tropics at the end of the year. Maybe the Cook Islands.
What’s something people don’t know about you? I have a bipartite patella.
What do you like? To surf, eat, and play Oztag.
What don’t you like? School and the city.
Favourite rider: Mitch Rawlins. He’s the best bodyboarder there is. His way of surfing is on another level.
Favourite move: An air reverse because it looks sick and is very dependent on the wave.
Best ever session: Snapper Rocks about a year ago. It hadn’t broken properly for ages and when I got there, Superbank was perfect. It was dead low with sucky, grinding barrels from behind the rock to Kirra. It was crowded, but I got heaps of waves. I got the longest barrel of my life to date.
Who’s in your crew? Liam Flanagan, Liam Newman, Liam Lucas, Hunter Smith, Seamus Flynn, Olly Haupt.
Last Instagram account viewed: @budgysmuggler
Comp stats: 2nd Juniors and 3rd Mens at the Northern Beaches Pro on the Aussie Tour; 5th in Juniors overall and 6th in Opens overall in the 2017 ABA tour; and finals placings at Nationals and the VS Grom King.
William Lujan, 17, Gran Canaria
Sponsors: The Versus Project, Vulcan Fins, Reeflex Wetsuits (Canarias), Alisios Mag, Link Store, Northtraining Center, my parents [laughs].
Local wave: I am lucky to live next to three world class waves: El Agujero, La Guancha and El Frontón.
Favourite spot: El Frontón undoubtedly. It’s just pure perfection for any bodyboarder. From big barrels to huge ramps and airs. It’s a unique feeling.
Describe yourself: I’m the sort of person that always tries to be happy and get a smile from everyone. I love to be laughing at all times. However I am dedicated to what I love to do, which is this sport and my studies.
How would your friends describe you? That’s a tough question. I hope that they do it positively [laughs]. I think that most of them see me like this kid who is always trying to stay active, joking and can never stay still which at times becomes really irritating. However they know that when they need me I’ll be there for them.
Trent Alleyne, 15, Sydney Australia
Sponsors: NMD and Bodyboard King.
Local spot: Mona Vale.
Favourite wave: Shark Island.
How would you describe yourself? I love the ocean and everything to do with it – bodyboarding, spearfishing, and fishing. I'm easy to get along with and work well with a team. I seek adventure and love the adrenaline rush bodyboarding shallow reefs gives me. When I put my mind to something it gets done.
How would your friends describe you? Nice bloke, good booger, easy to get along with, adventurous, sporty, risky, focussed.
Where do you want to go? I would like to get to Bali this year for Ryan Hardy’s Coaching Camp and get down to the south coast of NSW a lot more.
What’s something people don’t know about you? I don't think many people know I'm into technology and everything to do with PCs. I made the website for my local club, Sydney Bodyboard Club.
What do you do like to do in your spare time? Play computer games, surf the web, go to the beach, spearfish, watch tv shows and movies.
What’s something you don’t like? I don't like when surfers think they are better than boogers.
Favourite rider: Ben Player. He is an amazing rider and an even better person.
Favourite move: Backflip.
What's the best session you’ve ever had? It probably would have to be this one day out the local where it was peeling lefts, which gave so many opportunities for airs. The first flip of the session was the best – the wave was about 5ft and just opened up straight from the bottom turn, allowing me to scoop, hold a line for a second and flip. It was the most satisfying backflip ever.
Who’s in your crew? All the SBC boys – Joey Morton, Reuben Riegler, Sam Giddy. Mates from Mona like Mason Hemmings, Cody Reiman. School Mates like Heath Curtis, Josh Sudano, some stick shredders like Max Drewe and Levi Combs.
Last website viewed: Netflix.
Comp stats: 3rd in both NSW and Australia for U16s, and three-time Sydney Bodyboard Club champ.
Stephanos Kokorelis, 20, Sintra Portugal
Sponsors: Atlas Bodyboarding, Hardy Shapes, New Wave Store and Limited Edition Fins
Local spot: Praia Grande.
Favourite wave: Praia do Norte.
Describe yourself: Relaxed guy, always happy, good vibes and normally friendly with who ever it is, but sometimes a little bit shy and not organized.
How would your mates describe you? As a party animal. Maybe a sick dude sometimes.
Where do you want to travel in 2018? I am planning to go travel through Australian winter, and hunt some european swells during our winter.
What’s something people don’t know about you? That I am taking a degree in Finances and Management.
What do you do like to do in your spare time? Netflix and sports – running, football, surf...
What’s something you don’t like? Onshore waves and waiting for the right tide.
Favourite rider: Ryan Sewell, because of his power and style. That and he can ride heavy waves.
Favourite move: backflip, because when you make it well in a perfect bowl you get unique feeling of unawareness and freedom.
What's the best session you’ve ever had? It was the beginning of 2015 season in Praia do Norte, all the boys were in the beach camping for a few days and the D day came with a growing West swell from 6-10ft. We woke up on the beach surprised with huge waves breaking outside and super bumpy and we decided to go the groceries shop to pick up some food for the day, when we came back we saw that the tide was filling up and the wind calming down to a glassy vibe. When we walk down to the shorebreak to the real size and the real looking of the ocean, we understood that it was huge but surfable. Each set entering was getting more perfect..
Who’s in your crew? We the boys represent Gypsy, and we have some projects running up. Basically the idea is producing videos and pushing for ourselves in the water.
Last Instagram account viewed: @andre_botha_662
Comp stats: National Champ twice in under 18; 9th at Sintra IBA World Tour; 3rd in ISA Worlds 2015.
Lionel Medina, 18, Gran Canaria
Sponsors: Backdoor, Revo Company and Deeplightshop.
Local spot: El Bajo.
Favourite wave? El Frontón.
How would you describe yourself? A young guy trying to progress in this difficult sport, but I’m also very serious to get my studies done because I know that is what my future depends on.
How would your friends describe you? That I am a very happy guy all the time. But when I touch the water, I am competing.
What’s something people don’t know about you? I am a very nervous guy. People also don’t know that I am cleaning dishes in a restaurant to pay for my travels.
What do you do like to do in your spare time? I like play computer games and hang out with my friends.
What’s something you don’t like? I hate being in class when it’s glassy conditions.
Favourite rider: Pierre-Louis Costes. I find my motivation in him and I want to surf like him.
Favourite move: Air reverse.
What's the best session you’ve ever had? My best session was at the El Frontón King last year, when I won my heat against Jeff Hubbard and Iain Campbell.
Who’s in your crew? My crew are José Cabrera, Daniel Quintana, Carlos Sanz, Kevin Orihuela, Eduardo Ramírez and Cristian martinez
Last website you viewed? YouTube, to watch the Fronton Pro 2012. Pierre against Winchester. Pierre did a 360 in the tube.