PHOTOS: Maui Grommets Rip At Local Surf Contest
By Madeline Ziecker
On Saturday, March 12, 135 young Maui surfers gathered at Ho’okipa Beach Park to participate in local pro surfer Ian Walsh’s 9th Annual Menehune Mayhem surf contest.
Menehune Mayhem is a free annual event for Maui surfers 17 and under who want to showcase their talent in the surfing community.
The contest was divided in to 8 heats which were categorized by age and gender. Judges included pro surfers Ian Walsh, Bruce Irons, and Shane Dorian. The contest was hosted on loudspeakers by Peahi bodyboarder Damien Boone.
“I want to give back by giving Maui kids the experience I had as a young surfer, competing at Ho’okipa contests,” said Ian Walsh.
“When I grew up doing these contests there was an entrance fee, so I wanted to have one where kids could compete for free. I want to eventually do more of these free kids surf events on Maui.”
100 sponsors contributed to the event, including primary sponsors Skullbase and Red Bull, Fox, Flatbread Maui, Electric, Anthony’s Coffee Co., Billabong, and DC shoes.
Despite heavy rain and choppy surf conditions at Ho’okipa, keiki as young as 8 years tore up the stormy waves from dawn ’till dusk with grins on their faces.
On the beach, participating sponsors provided free food, drinks, sponsor merchandise, live music and activities including a moon bounce and a dunk tank.
Local teenage band Visibly Shaken took the stage under the Red Bull tent at 10:30 a.m., providing the fierce little surfers with some background jams for their dry land fanfare.
At 5 p.m., keiki and teens congregated for the awards ceremony, mouths full of spam musubi and fruit snacks that were left over from the event.
Each heat had three to five top winners who received trophies as well as backpacks, surf boards, fishing gear, and more.
Walsh also presented awards to winners of a different “heat” which was designed to motivate Maui’s surfing youth to strive for rounded success – Highest GPA. Three girls and three boys were awarded for their academic achievements, some of whom were winners in other Menehune Mayhem heats like rising star Cody Young.
See page 2 for photos of this year’s Menehune Mayhem contest winners.