2016 Quiksilver Young Guns final day has wrapped up and Rio Waida emerges as this year’s winner. The under 18 surfers were on a quiet ride to the event as everyone focused on the competition ahead of them.
The final day of the contest has been a result of months of great surfing. The finalists, Sammy Pupo, Marco Mignot, Sandy Whittaker and Rio Waida have all posted Instagram clips. These clips were hand-picked by Mikey Wright, Ezekiel Lau and Jeremey Flores in the first round.
Then they had to survive the second round with the public voting. After which, they took on a trip to California to survive four rounds of surfing at DMJ’s. They were judged by Mikey, Jeremey, and Ezekiel.
The finals was an hour of free surf with no specific criteria. From there the judges will pick the one that surfs the best.
Sammy Pupo had a strong start, Sandy Whittaker countered it with a stronger start, then Marco Mignot topped them both with the strongest start in the finals. He had a few turns and an aerial in his opener. Then he kept a good pace.
Rio Waida on the other hand, only had a few waves in the final. He did not bring anything special to the table when he started off. But with the clock winding down, he was able to put together one of the best combination moves of the event.
The judges have convened to review the results of the finals and Mikey Wright paddled out with a check of $10,000 and handed it to Rio Waida.
Rio did not have much prior to this event. He only had access to one of the world’s best surfing spots in Bali, where he grew up. He had some financial and medical challenges in life before this event, but surfing has always been his outlet when he needed an escape from life’s challenges. His hard earned paycheck from the event will definitely go a long way.