The Quiksilver King of the Groms will be heading over to Capbreton, South-West France from 31 July to 5 August, 2007 for this year’s International Surfing Competition for under-16s.
For over 15 years, Quiksilver has been bringing the world’s top young surfers together in Capbreton to compete in what is internationally recognised as the leading tournament for the under-16s age group.
Originally open only to under-21s (Pro Junior), the competition has launched the careers of some of the best surfers of the day, including Danny Wills, Taj Burrow (currently leading the WCT) or the Frenchmen Miky Picon and Jérémy Florès, the only European to have qualified for this season’s WCT.
Today, the King of the Groms is the essential event for international young surfers aged 16 and under, who aspire to a professional career.
The Quiksilver King of the Groms in Capbreton will be the culmination of a worldwide tour spanning five continents, by the end of which 16 young surfers will have qualified for the final in south-west France.
With a competition format, judging criteria and rules identical to those of senior events like the WCT, the King of the Groms will offer the 48 finalists a tournament worthy of the top professionals.
Every year, old hands like Tom Carroll, sponsor of the 2005 edition, Jeff Hakman alias Mister Sunset, or the big wave rider Ross Clarke Jones, present last year, are blown away by the budding champions’ technical and physical skills.
Watching Dean Bowen at last year’s event, the judges quickly realised they had a raw talent on their hands. Despite his young age, the Australian showed remarkable power and control, alternating between classic moves and pinpoint aerials.
Crowned King of the Groms 2006, Dean was awarded the greatest prize an apprentice pro-surfer can dream of: a wildcard enabling him, along with his chaperone, to compete in the trials for two events on the Men’s World Championship Tour: the Quiksilver Pro France 2006 and the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2007 (Australia).
“Winning the King of the Groms in Capbreton changed my career and opened up huge opportunities for me. I was able to take part in the trials for the Quiksilver Pro France. I didn’t get far, but it was great to get the chance to surf the incredible waves in Mundaka and Hossegor. Surfing at Snapper Rocks is also very exciting. They have some of the best waves in the world there, and it was a fantastic experience, ” said the 2006 champion, whose title will be up for grabs again this year.