NSSA - National Scholastic Surfing Association

The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. The NSSA promotes the qualities of discipline and competitive excellence while supporting the merits of academic achievement to young surfers. The NSSA strives to provide a fun surfing experience for all of its members.

The NSSA is one of the few national youth sports organizations that require its participants to maintain academic standards in order to compete. Since 1978, the NSSA program philosophy has been that athletics and scholastics go hand in hand. More than 80 NSSA events are run nationwide that culminate with the annual National Championships which is regarded as the highest profile youth surfing event in America.




The 2007 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA), Championship Series presented by No Fear. 


JUNE 20-23, 2007 SALT CREEK




No Fear, Body Glove, Nike 6.0, Freestyle, Huntington Surf and Sport, Surfing Magazine, Sex Wax, Surfline, California State Parks




(Huntington Beach, Ca) -  Nine days, 82 hours, 358 heats and over 1,000 competitors later and the 2007 NSSA National Championships is in the books.  In what has been pegged as the Super Bowl of youth surfing, the NSSA Nationals once again set the grandest stage for the most powerful, dynamic and unprecedented performances from the finest amateur surfers across the nation.  The National Interscholastic Championships and National Explorer preliminary rounds were held at Salt Creek June 20-23.  The contest shifted to the ultimate surfing arena at Lower Trestles where the National Explorer Championships continued along with the premier event in amateur surfing-the National Open Championships.  The waves were a fun, contestable 2-3 feet at the Creek.  Lowers came through as usual delivering terrific chest to shoulder high performance peaks throughout the five day event under beautiful sunny skies.  And this year thanks to the live webcast presented by Nike 6.0, surfing fans worldwide had the opportunity to watch the action and experience the electrifying atmosphere of the highest profile event in youth surfing. 



To no one’s surprise, the Hawaii field took its toll on the East and West coast contingent.  The Hawaiians came out swinging taking 4 of 6 titles in the Open division.  They dominated 22 of the 32 finals spots in the Open category and 29 of the 32 finals slots in the Explorer scholastic categories.  Open Men’s champion Tonino Benson was absolutely killing it from day one at the Creek and Women’s champ Carissa Moore was phenomenal claiming her 10th and 11th National titles while showing why she is already a NSSA legend at 14-years-old and destined to be a world icon in the sport. 


TONINO WAS AT THE TOP OF THE CLASS.                       photo: Billy Watts 



After working their way from a field of 96, four of the top surfers in the nation faced off in the Open Men’s final.  Tonino Benson, Kai Barger and Alex Smith represented Hawaii’s powerful pack and Ventura’s Cory Arrambide was the sole survivor from the West.  From Benson’s first heat in the Explorer Juniors division at the Creek, he was looking indestructible.  From explosive tail busting turns to blistering forehand gouges and mammoth air reverses, the seventeen year old from Hawaii’s Big Island was bringing it on with every technically, committed move.  Benson came to the Nationals this year focused on one task and that was to win.  The motivation was triggered by both a five year drought since his first title in the Menehuenes in 2002 and a disappointing Men’s quarterfinal loss in 2006.  "I got a bunch of good boards for this contest so I was feeling really good all week,” Benson said.  "My dad came over here to help me with my game plan.  I learned from my mistakes last year and just paced myself.  I focused all year on winning the Nationals.”  Kai Barger was pushing the power envelope all week and annihilated a 9.25 scoring ride in the Explorer Juniors final clinching the victory and his career third National title.  After his Explorer triumph, he was tasting victory in the Open Men’s final but came unglued on a filthy tail releasing gouge which could have put him in the running.  Alex Smith fired up Lowers lefts with his polished, dynamic backside attack heat after heat en route to an impressive third place finish in his rookie year.  Cory Arrambide was driven and determined to finish out his career with a bang at Lowers.  Earlier he had clinched his third National title with a victory in the Explorer Men’s but it was the prestigious Open title that he thirsted for.  Benson had a sizable lead down the stretch of the 35-minute final, however Arrambide had a chance in the final minutes to steal the glory.  He needed a huge 8.75 score meaning he had to pull out all the stops, something really big.  He stroked into a set right and crushed the lip upteen times to the beach in dramatic last-ditch-effort fashion, but it wasn’t enough.  Benson was too hot, tearing Lowers apart.  A couple hours prior to the Open Men’s final, he earned his first title of the event in the Airshow with a perfectly executed double-grab air reverse.  He stuck with the steeper faced lefts throughout most of his heats including the Men’s final where he continued to go ballistic on every turn.  His winning waves posted an 8.00 and 7.25.  Tonino was also the stat leader in the entire Open Men’s field earning the highest scoring wave (an 8.50 in Open Men’s Round 3) and the high scoring totals (16.50 in Open Men’s Round 3).  "I was feeling it on the lefts,” Benson said with a huge smile etched across his face after the Men’s final was over.  "They were more bowly and had a little bit more pocket.  I wanted to make sure I got two good ones right off the bat.  There was a pretty long lull in the final and I kind of knew that was going to happen.  The waves were fun and rippable and everyone was surfing good.  I’m just so stoked to do well.  I’m really excited all of my hard work paid off!”



photo: Billy Watts



Carissa Moore didn’t miss a beat in the Open Women’s final capturing her unfathomable fourth straight title which included her fourth Governor’s Cup.  And for the fourth straight year, the female phenom from Honolulu was in a league of her own, taking it to another level in the Open Womens division.  She commanded the top stats of the Open Womens Round of 40 owning the high scoring wave (9.75 in the Womens final) and the high scoring totals (18.50 in Womens Round 2).  Moore has become virtually unstoppable at the Nationals adding two more crowns to her trophy case (she also won the Explorer Women’s category) which puts her sum into double digits at 11.  Her three opponents in the Open final, fellow Hawaiians Coco Ho, Alana Blanchard and west coaster Sage Erickson also deserve praise as the Women’s talent pool has the heaviest ever witnessed at the Nationals and making the final wasn’t a walk in the park.  "I’m stoked on winning another Nationals and Governor’s Cup,” said a humbled Moore regarding yet another Nationals accolade.  "In my first final which was Explorer Girls, I didn’t do to well.  Alessa and Malia were killing it.  I was upset with my performance in the Girls so I just wanted to go out in the Explorer Womens and catch some good rights.  I was actually kind of nervous, just trying to work out the kinks, but I’m lucky it worked out and I got a couple fun waves in that final.”  The greatest surfer in NSSA history put on another remarkable display in the 35-minute Open final earning an 18.0 total score.  What will be etched into everyone’s memory bank is the amazing 9.75 ride that capped off the final minutes of the heat.  She lit up a Lowers righthander with blazing frontside turns, polished cutbacks and a mini air to finish it off.  "I just went out in the Open final and just tried to have fun and forget about the pressure,” Moore said.  "I didn’t want to take myself out of it so I tried to keep my nerves to a minimum.  The rights are definitely a lot of fun because it’s on my frontside and I’m happy I got that good one at the end of the heat.  The final was super tough because all of the girls are improving so much.  Any of the girls could blow up and get 8’s and 9’s so luckily it worked out.” 

The Nationals witnessed a new kid on the block by the name of Alessa Quizon.  Alessa just started competing in the NSSA Hawaii conference this season and in her very first Nationals quickly exceeded all expectations with a clear-cut victory in the Explorer Girls division beating the division heavies Carissa Moore and Malia Manuel.  The 13-year-old from Hauula quickly stamped herself as a new force to contend with at the Nationals.  






For the seventh consecutive year, the NSSA partnered with the California State Parks in presenting the prestigious Governor’s Cup trophy to the winners of the Open Men’s and Women’s divisions.  Tonino Benson was presented the Governor’s Cup in the Men’s category and Carissa Moore claimed her fourth straight Governor’s Cup in the Womens.  Many thanks to the State of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California State Parks for supporting the National Championships and our commitment to education and scholastic surfing.



photo: Billy Watts



Plain and simple, Andrew Doheny was over being second best.  After seven years of paying some serious dues with multiple second place finishes to Nationals’ icon John John Florence, the 14-year-old from Newport Beach busted down the door with a thrilling victory in the Open Juniors final over Keanu Asing.  Doheny was trailing Asing by a one point margin going into the five minute mark.  In an exciting showdown in the final minutes, both surfers got incredible waves, Asing blasting a right to the beach and then Doheny answering back throwing up massive vertical turns on a set left.  Andrew’s score came in at an excellent 8.0 which nudged him ahead of Asing by a 0.50 securing him his first well-deserved National title.  Also noteworthy for Doheny is his quarterfinal placing in the Open Men’s division.  "It feels so good.  I’m so happy right now,” said Doheny who is an eight time NSSA Regional Champion.  "Finally to get first and not second at the Nationals.  I was tired of hearing my name in second place!”  Doheny talked about the hard fought final.  "I just tried to relax before the heat.  It was so stacked I knew whoever got the waves was going to win it.  Keanu was in the lead and then he solidified it with another really good one.  Luckily right after that, one of the good steeper lefts came to me and I knew I had to go big.  I just surfed it as hard as I could to the beach and prayed to God I got the score.  I’m super stoked.”  



photo: Billy Watts



At the 2006 Nationals, Kealamakia Naihe didn’t make it past the quarterfinals in either the Open Boys or Explorer Menehuenes.  What a difference a year makes!  The 13-year-old from Kailua-Kona cemented his reputation as one of America’s top groms with a stellar performance at Lowers.  Naihe put on an incredible exhibition in the Open Boys final destroying a 9.0 scoring right which brought the beach to their feet.  He also earned a near perfect 9.5 score in the Explorer Menehuene final barely missing out on another title.  "I knew I had to wait for the better waves and not go for the smaller ones,” a beaming Naihe said after the Boys final concluded.  "I decided to stick with the rights and it ended up working good for me.  I got lucky and just happened to be in position when the set came in.  I didn’t fall and rode it pretty well.”  Naihe’s standout combination of big moves and polished style earned him the annual "Kalani Robb Most Inspirational Performance” award.  Kolohe Andino edged out Naihe in a super tight 14.00-13.75 nail-biter to take the Menehuenes.  Andino also won the Middle School Boys division at the National Interscholastics at Salt Creek sealing his fifth career National title. 


It’s not the norm to mention the word power and Mini-Grom in the same breath but Benji Brand proved to be the exception.  The 11-year-old South African native showed us his serious potential with heavy-duty top turns rivaling the Juniors division kids.  Hawaii’s Ian Gentil was also ruling the Lowers peak and the two went blow for blow in the final with Brand receiving his first taste of Nationals glory by a half point.  "It was really close, I’m really happy,” Brand said.  "I was shaking when I heard it announced that I won.  The final was so tight.  I was waiting for the sets but there was kind of a lull so I went for this smaller right and it came in as a 6.25 which was one of my best scores.  At the five minute, I got another good right and that was the one I won on.”  Brand and his family reside nine months of the year in Hawaii and three months in his homeland in South Africa.  "My dad moved my family to Hawaii so we could do the NSSA contests and become better surfers,” Brand said. 



San Clemente’s Troy Mothershead took command of the Lowers lineup winning both the Open and Explorer titles.  Both finals were closely contested with Mothershead winning by less than a point.  In the Explorer final, Mothershead successfully defended his 2006 title clinching it on his last wave which came in at an 8.75.  In the Open final, he locked in a near perfect 9.5 score midway through the heat and held the lead.  Defending champion Christian Wach fought back to put the pressure on, posting a 7.25 score on his last wave but came up a mere 0.25 short.  "I had fun in the Explorer final and that gave me an edge because I figured out where I wanted to go in the Open final,” Mothershead said.  "In a heat like that, you have to go out and surf and hope the good waves come to you because everyone is so good.  Whoever stands up on the best wave is going to win because five of the six guys in that heat are National Champions.  I caught that long right that went almost to Middles and got a 9.5 and that put me in the lead.”



20 YEAR DROUGHT ENDS FOR AZTECS - In NSSA tradition, the National Collegiate Championships kicked off the 2007 National Championships with 11 teams competing from the East and West coasts.  After a mediocre fifth place finish at the 2007 State titles, San Diego State came to Nationals with guns blazing and claimed their first title since 1987.  SDSU team member Jon Flick led the charge for the Aztecs claiming his first National title after more than a decade of attempts.  "This is my first title and I’m so stoked,” shouted the excited 24-year-old Florida native.  "I’ve been surfing the NSSA for nearly my whole life and I’ve never won the Nationals.  I’m so happy!”  Lauren Sweeney banked her third straight title in the College Women’s division and Billy Harris successfully defended his Collegiate Longboard crown. 

CHANGING OF THE GUARD – After five straight years at the throne, San Clemente High School finally surrendered their reign to a spirited and talented San Dieguito Academy team.  For the first time in 15 years, the championship-starved San Dieguito has something good to feel about.   The San Dieguito team led by top ranked competitors Eric Snortum and Ryan Burch hasn’t celebrated a National title since 1992 but they were long overdue.  "It’s been awhile!” exclaimed San Dieguito coach Jeremy Sherwin, who won the High School Men’s National title for San Dieguito in 1996.  "This feels really good.  It’s been a fun year with the guys I have on the team right now.  We have a very talented crew.  I walked down to the Creek on Friday seeing a bunch of my kids already in the lineup practicing.  The excitement of the Nationals is incredible.  It is such a great venue for the surfers on teams to compete and have the industry watching them.”  Sherwin credited his team’s positive attitude and desire to win was a key factor in their success.  "Our frontrunners Eric Snortum and Ryan Burch were really good role models for the rest of our squad,” Sherwin said.  "The team was very motivated and driven to do well this year.  And those things made the difference.  We’ve had a great attitude shift this year where our kids believed they could be champions.” 

SHORECLIFFS RULES AGAINShorecliffs Middle School remained unstoppable claiming their second straight Middle School National crown.  Team members Kolohe Andino and Ian Crane delivered the one-two punch in the Middle School Boys final while Eli Gillis took the Longboard title.  Kapaa Middle School was runner up in the best showing ever for a Hawaii school at the National Interscholastic Championships.  Team member Malia Manuel clinched her first National title winning the Middle School Girls division. 








OPEN MENS (all ages)

  1. Tonino Benson-Kailua Kona, Hi-15.25
  2. Cory Arrambide-Ventura, Ca-13.75
  3. Alex Smith-Kilauea, Hi-13.0
  4. Kai Barger-Haiku, Hi-11.75

OPEN WOMENS (all ages)

  1. Carissa Moore-Honolulu, Hi-18.0
  2. Coco Ho-Haleiwa, Hi-11.0
  3. Sage Erickson-Ventura, Ca-10.75
  4. Alana Blanchard-Hanalei, Hi-9.0

OPEN JUNIORS (15&under)

  1. Andrew Doheny-Newport Beach, Ca-15.0
  2. Keanu Asing-Ewa Beach, Hi-14.5
  3. Kiron Jabour-Waianae, Hi-11.5
  4. Evan Geiselman-New Smyrna Beach, Fla.-9.75
  5. Nick Falbo-Lahaina, Hi-8.25
  6. Albee Layer-Haiku, Hi-7.88

OPEN BOYS (12&under)

  1. Kealamakia Naihe-Kailua Kona, Hi-15.5
  2. Koa Smith-Kilauea, Hi-13.5
  3. Benji Brand-Honolulu, Hi-10.0
  4. Luke Hitchcock-Kapaa, Hi-9.75
  5. Lahiki Minamishin-Kailua Kona, Hi-7.25
  6. Makai McNamara-Haleiwa, Hi-6.38

OPEN MINI GROMS (10&under)

  1. Benji Brand- Honolulu, Hi-12.5
  2. Ian Gentil-Haiku, Hi-12.0
  3. Imaikalani DeVault-Lahaina, Hi-11.75
  4. Kanoa Igarashi-Huntington Beach, Ca-9.5
  5. Chaz Kinoshita-Haiku, Hi-8.75 (tiebreak)
  6. Kalani David-Haleiwa, Hi-8.75 (tiebreak)


  1. Troy Mothershead-San Clemente, Ca-15.75
  2. Christian Wach-San Clemente, Ca-15.5
  3. Kevin Osborne-San Clemente, Ca-13.5
  4. Christian Clark-Encinitas, Ca-10.75
  5. Cole Robbins-Santa Barbara, Ca-8.5
  6. Cedric Caires-Honolulu, Hi-7.25



EXPLORER MENS (all ages)

  1. Cory Arrambide-Ventura, Ca-12.5
  2. Kai Barger-Haiku, Hi-9.5
  3. Dillon Perillo-Malibu, Ca-8.5
  4. Dylan Melamed-Hanalei, Hi-6.25
  5. Dege O’Connell-Hana, Hi-4.0
  6. Spencer Regan-Ventura, Ca-2.75


  1. Kai Barger-Haiku, Hi-17.25
  2. Alex Smith-Kilauea, Hi-16.75
  3. Granger Larsen-Lahaina, Hi-13.0
  4. Kekoa Cazimero-Waimanalo, Hi-11.25
  5. Tonino Benson-Kailua Kona, Hi-11.0
  6. Dillon Perillo-Malibu, Ca-9.25

EXPLORER BOYS (14&under)

  1. Evan Geiselman-New Smyrna Beach, Fl-13.75
  2. Keanu Asing-Ewa Beach, Hi-12.0
  3. Andrew Doheny-Newport Beach, Ca-11.0
  4. Tanner Hendrickson-Honolulu, Hi-8.75
  5. Koa Smith-Kilauea, Hi-6.75
  6. Davey Brand- Honolulu, Hi-5.63


  1. Kolohe Andino-San Clemente, Ca-14.0
  2. Kealamakia Naihe-Kailua Kona, Hi-13.75
  3. Lahiki Minamishin-Kailua Kona, Hi 13.75
  4. Isiah Moniz-Honolulu, Hi-12.75
  5. Koa Smith-Kilauea, Hi-11.38
  6. Benji Brand- Honolulu, Hi-6.0


  1. Carissa Moore-Honolulu, Hi-14.75
  2. Alessa Quizon-Hauula, Hi-12.5
  3. Nage Melamed-Hanalei, Hi-12.5
  4. Coco Ho- Haleiwa, Hi-12.0
  5. Monyca Byrne Wickey-Hana, Hi-10.5
  6. Leila Hurst-Kilauea, Hi-7.75


  1. Alessa Quizon-Hauula, Hi-15.0
  2. Malia Manuel-Kapaa, Hi-12.5
  3. Carissa Moore-Honolulu, Hi-12.5
  4. Leila Hurst-Kilauea, Hi-8.5
  5. Marissa Shaw-San Clemente, Ca-5.75
  6. Ashley Hunter-Punaluu, Hi-5.5


  1. Josh Wilson-Cape Canaveral, Fl-16.0
  2. Chris Keet-Santa Barbara, Ca-14.5
  3. Randy Cutshall-Torrance, Ca-9.75
  4. Jeff Dana-San Diego, Ca-9.25
  5. Lyn Meyers-Lake Park, Fl-5.25
  6. Donald Day-Topanga, Ca-3.50


  1. Christian Budroe-Hauula, Hi-13.25
  2. Mike Gillard-Imperial Beach, Ca-13.0
  3. Randy Cutshall-Torrance, Ca-9.25
  4. Robert Weiner-Ventura, Ca-8.75
  5. Paul Spencer-Carlsbad, Ca-7.0
  6. Tim Senneff-Del Mar, Ca-4.25


  1. Tim Senneff-Del Mar, Ca-13.5
  2. Mike Gillard-Imperial Beach, Ca-10.25
  3. Dale Baker-San Clemente, Ca-9.0
  4. Rick Fignetti-Huntington Beach, Ca-8.5
  5. Steve Dwyer-Pacifica, Ca-7.0
  6. Mike Lamm-Oxnard,  Ca-2.0


  1. Troy Mothershead-San Clemente, Ca-16.0
  2. Christian Clark-Encinitas, Ca-15.25
  3. Kevin Osborne-San Clemente, Ca-10.25
  4. Rory Golden-La Mesa, Ca-9.0
  5. Cody Ulrich-San Clemente, Ca-8.0
  6. Mike Gillard-Imperial Beach, Ca-5.5


  1. Tonino Benson
  2. Evan Geiselman-New Smyrna Beach, Fl
  3. Chris Foster-

=4. Cory Arrambide-Ventura, Ca

=4. Dane Zaun-Hollyglen, Ca

=4. Matt Meola-







1. SDSU – 82

2.  Mira Costa - 78

3.  UC Santa Cruz – 74

4.  CSUSM – 66

=5. Saddleback – 63

=5. UCSD – 63

7.College of Charleston – 60

8.UCF – 47

9.UCSB – 39

10.DBCC – 38

11.Point Loma – 31



  1. Jon Flick-San Diego State-9.5
  2. Anthony Osment-College of Charleston-8.25
  3. Max McIlwee-Saddleback-7.0
  4. Daniel Shea-UC Santa Cruz-6.75
  5. Aaron Coyle-Mira Costa-6.75
  6. Ryan Judson-San Diego State-6.0


  1. Lauren Sweeney-UC San Diego-11.0
  2. Lauren McLean-University of Central Florida-7.5
  3. Ashley Pardoen-UC San Diego-5.5
  4. Erin Lewis-Cal State San Marcos-4.25
  5. Analia Carlsson- Cal State San Marcos-3.0
  6. Coco Jones-Point Loma Nazarine-2.25


  1. Billy Harris-Mira Costa-12.0
  2. Chris Smith- Cal State San Marcos-11.25
  3. Tyler Warren-Saddleback-9.5
  4. Tim Hoover-Point Loma Nazarine-8.75
  5. Brad Davidson-UC San Diego-7.25
  6. Brent Newell-University of Central Florida-4.38




1.  San Dieguito Academy Blue – 130

2.  Carlsbad – 106

3.  San Clemente "A” – 104

4.  Huntington Beach "A” 101

5.  Carpenteria – 79

6.  San Dieguito White – 57

7.  Edison – 47

8.  Huntington Beach "B” 39

9.  Manasquan – 37

10. San Clemente "B” – 29

11.  Palos Verdes – 27

12.  Marina – 24

13.  Kealakehe – 21



  1. Jeff Lukasik-San Clemente-12.75
  2. Trevor Saunders-San Clemente-10.25
  3. Brent Reilly-Carlsbad-9.75 (tiebreak)
  4. Eric Snortum-San Dieguito-9.75 (tiebreak)
  5. Nick Suhadolnik-San Dieguito-9.5
  6. Kokoro Tomatsuri-Carpinteria-5.75


  1. Sara Taylor-Huntington Beach-9.5
  2. Allie Brown-Kealakehe-7.5
  3. Lexie Papilion-San Clemente-6.25
  4. Alexa Thorton-San Dieguito-5.25
  5. Bo Stanley-Carpinteria-4.75
  6. Marissa Shaw-San Clemente-4.25


  1. Cole Robbins-Carpinteria-16.0
  2. Troy Mothershead-San Clemente-13.5
  3. Chris Cravey-San Dieguito-9.5
  4. Kevin Osborne-San Clemente-8.75
  5. Josh Gandola-San Dieguito-6.5
  6. Nick Shellhammer-Carlsbad-5.5




1.  Shorecliffs Red – 108

2.  Kapaa – 92

3.  Sowers Red – 89

4.  Oak Crest - 53

=5.  Shorecliffs White – 46

=5.  Dwyer – 46

7.Bernice Ayer – 28

8.Sowers Blue – 21

9.Shorecliffs Blue – 18

=10. Sowers White – 10

=10. Laurel Springs - 10



  1. Kolohe Andino-Shorecliffs-12.25
  2. Ian Crane-Shorecliffs-11.75
  3. Cooper Jones-Oak Crest-11.75
  4. Kaoli Kahokuloa-Kapaa-8.75
  5. Jon Koechlin-Sowers-7.5
  6. Elliott Leon-Kapaa-6.0


  1. Malia Manuel-Kapaa-11.75
  2. Leila Hurst-Laurel Springs-9.25
  3. Anise Guzman-Sowers-6.0
  4. Tara Franz-Shorecliffs-5.5
  5. Charlotte Shanahan-Shorecliffs-4.5
  6. Paige Ortiz-Dwyer-2.25


  1. Eli Gillis-Shorcliffs-9.5
  2. Kaoli Kahokuloa-Kapaa-5.0
  3. Jack Kurt-Bernice Ayer-4.75
  4. Tony Bartovich-Dwyer-4.5
  5. Shawn Thompson-Sowers-3.0
  6. Matt Knox-Oak Crest-2.5