Tamaroa McComb, the teenage Tahitian ripper and reigning ‘King of the Groms’, has moved to Australia and signed to the Billabong surf team to lay the platform for a future tilt at the ASP Men's World Tour.

The 15-year-old Tamaroa, a gentle soul with an explosive repertoire, has been lighting up the junior contest scene around the world.

In August he earned a place in the trials for the Quiksilver Pro world tour event in France after claiming the ‘King of the Groms’ title at Capbreton, was runner up in the Rusty Gromfest under-16s in Australia in July (after winning the under-14s in 2006) and runner up in the world under-16 titles in Portugal in May.

He has also earned a place in the trials for the first event of the 2008 ASP world tour at Snapper Rocks on Australia’s Gold Coast, a location that will be his temporary home following his move to Billabong. Tamaroa has moved into a new pad at Coolangatta, just down the road from the Superbank and Kirra, with shaper and Billabong Adventure Division pioneer Dylan Longbottom.

He now plans to live between the Gold Coast and his home on the French Polynesian island of Huahine, in between an extensive international competition schedule.

His first trip with Billabong is to Hawaii in December, where he will start his preparation for the Billabong World Junior Championships in January where he has been awarded a main event wildcard. Tamaroa will then focus on the 2008 ASP’s Australian men’s junior circuit ahead of a planned tilt at the 2009 World Qualifying Series as an entrée to the Men's World Tour.

He described his move to the Billabong team as ‘a real pleasure’ and was looking forward to competing in Australia. “I really enjoy competition. It’s like a game that I want to win and keep winning and I have fun playing it," said Tamaroa.

“I’m so stoked to come to Billabong and I’m feeling like I never want to leave the Gold Coast. There’s so many good waves, so many different kinds of waves, and I really love Snapper. “I’ve had a few perfect surfs out there and it’s good to see so many top surfers in the water."

Luke Egan, Billabong Australia men’s marketing manager, said the signing of Tamaroa was a coup for Billabong. “Tamaroa is one of the world’s most exciting junior surfers and one of the hottest prospects ever to come out of Tahiti," he said. “He adds further depth to the Billabong team and we look forward to nurturing him over coming years to ensure he gets the best opportunity to realise his amazing potential."

Tamaroa’s addition to the elite Billabong team strengthens an already super-impressive junior line up that includes Dean Bowen, Heath Joske, Laurie Towner, Nick Vasicek and Creed McTaggart.

www.billabong.com