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.

Surfer the Week - Archives (2014)

Surfer of the Week - 11/17/2014

RYLAND RUBENS

Age: 15
Hometown: Pacific Beach, California
School: Audeo Charter School; 9th grade
Sponsors: Billabong, Chemistry, Smith Optics, Dakine, Sanuk, South Coast
Claim to Fame: Ryland has been on a blistering pace this season in the SW Open Juniors division. The strong, focused goofyfooter has a 3-event win streak going after delivering another dynamic performance at the Church Open where he was posting solid scores heat after heat including an excellent 18.03 out of 20 total in the final. Fave thing about Church: The consistency of the surf. Fave surfer: Gabriel Medina. Fave all-time NSSA surfer: Kolohe Andino. Local spot: Blacks. Goal: Be consistent in all my heats!
 

Surfer of the Week - 11/11/2014

KEANU TAYLOR

Age: 10
Hometown: Haleiwa, Hawaii
School: Sunset Beach Elementary; 5th grade
Sponsors: Volcom, Tokoro Surfboards, Body Glove, Perfect Bar, Dakine, North Shore Surf Shop
Claim to Fame: Keanu has been one of the hottest groms to emerge out of Hawaii this season. The 10-year-old has been charging the contests with six wins under his belt. He has 3 victories in Open Mini Groms and 3 in Explorer Super Groms and is currently ranked first in both divisions. This young shredder is showing he will be ready to contend for a National title this coming summer! Local spot: V-Land. Fave surfer: John John. Fave NSSA surfer: Finn McGill. Shred crew: The Oahu & Maui Crew. Goal: Win Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 10/21/2014

BETHANY ZELASKO

Age: 14
Hometown: Dana Point, California
School: Dana Hills High School; 9th grade
Sponsors: Buccaneer Boardriders, Infinity, Killer Dana Surf Shop, Tide Pools swimwear
Claim to Fame: In her first NSSA season, Bethany has gone on a competitive tear and her talent is quickly catching everyone’s eye. She has won 3 of 4 events in Explorer Girls including a sweep at Ponto & Salt Creek and she has 1 win in the Open. She is currently ranked 1st in Explorer and 2nd in Open! Fave thing about Salt Creek: It’s punchy with good barrels. Local spot: Salt Creek. Fave surfer: Mick Fanning. Fave NSSA surfer: Kade Matson. Shred crew: Dana Hills Surf Team. Goals: Win a title & keep improving!
 

Surfer of the Week - 10/20/2014

BRYCEN JERNIGAN

Age: 14
Hometown: Surf City, North Carolina
School: Topsail High School; 9th grade
Sponsors: Onshore Surf Shop
Claim to Fame: The NSSA recently added SUP competition in the contests and Brycen has been taking advantage of the new division. He put on an electrifying show at the Mid Atlantic event 2 at Carolina Beach. With speed, power & flow, he displayed his sharp skills taking the win. We are looking forward to seeing this kid shred at Regionals & Nationals! Local spot: Topsail Island. Fave surfer: John John Florence. Shred crew: Jo Jo, Zayne, Noah, Jessie, Sean, Jake. Goal: Excel in all types of surfing and have fun!
 

Surfer of the Week - 10/14/2014

JETT SCHILLING

Age: 11
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: Concordia Elementary-5th grade. "My school is super sick!"
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Channel Islands, Sex Wax, Blackline
Claim to Fame: Jett has been gaining a big reputation since he won the National Mini Grom title last July and this positive vibe shredder continues to turn heads with his talent and big performances. In bombing surf at Seaside Reef, he stepped up big time with a finals placing in the Juniors and also took 2nd in the Boys! Fave thing about Seaside: It has super good lefts. Local spot: Riviera. Fave surfer: Jordy Smith. Fave NSSA surfer: Griffin Colapinto. Shred crew: Taj Lindblad. Goal: To win a National title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 10/7/2014

SANTIAGO HART

Age: 11
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
School: CAVA-6th grade
Sponsors: Volcom, Electric, Rainbow Fins, Freak Traction, Santa Cruz Waves, TC Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Santi had a great weekend in Morro Bay taking command of the 12 & unders in solid head high surf. He won the Menehuenes at Saturdays Gold Coast event and then backed it up the next day with a strong impressive victory in the Northwest Open Boys. This kid has been surfing NSSA since age 5 and his hard work is paying off! Fave thing about Morro Bay:“The bowly gouge sections.” Local spot: Pleasure Point. Shred crew: Sean Winterburn & AJ Menna. Fave surfer: Nat Young. Goal: Win the conference title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 9/30/2014

KEI KOBAYASHI

Age: 15
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: San Clemente High School; 10th grade
Sponsors: O'Neill, Etnies, Lost Surfboards, Luv Surf, OAM, NeckTans, Banzai Bowl, Fu Wax,
Claim to Fame: It’s been 5 years since Kei claimed an Open win. His last win came in the 2009 National Mini Grom final and he was hungry to break down the barrier. In chest high peaks at the HB Open, he took a dramatic semifinal win on a buzzer beater. Advancing to the final, he got the job done triumphing in the man-on-man showdown against Noah Collins. Fave thing about HB:“The inside air section.” Local spot: Lowers. Shred crew: Griffin & the Dands. Fave surfer: John John. Goal: Not to lose in round 1 again!
 

Surfer of the Week - 9/22/2014

NOLAN RAPOZA

Age: 16
Hometown: Long Beach, California
School: Comp U High-11th grade
Sponsors: Fox, Sex Wax, Katin, On a Mission, Roberts Surfboards, Banzai Bowls
Claim to Fame: On a historical day in NSSA competition, Nolan claimed his first Open victory since his Boys division days. But what made it special was the new man-on-man format that was implemented at the Oceanside season opener. Going head-to-head with talented Griffin Colapinto in the Mens final, Nolan dismantled two waves earning a dominant 17.36 heat total! Fave thing about OSide:“The good lefts providing lots of combo turn sections.” Local spot: HB. Fave surfer: Julian Wilson. Goal: Win a National title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 9/10/2014

JABE SWIERKOCKI

Age: 11
Hometown: Ventura, California
School: CAVA-6th grade
Sponsors: Fox, Roberts Surfboards
Claim to Fame: We don’t see this very often but when we do it’s something special! Jabe turned 2 waves to gold in his Menehuene round 1 heat ripping back-to-back 10-point rides for a perfect 20 score at the Gold Coast event 2 at C Street. He took home double wins & a big reputation. He didn’t rise to the occasion, he rose above it! Fave thing about C St:“The long running rights” Local spot: Emma Wood. Fave surfer: Conner Coffin. Shred crew: Dimitri Poulos. Goal: Win a Gold Coast title & final in the Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 8/25/2014

KADE MATSON

Age: 12
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: Shorecliffs Middle School-7th grade
Sponsors: Quiksilver, Cobian, GromBomb, Blackline, DFS, Byrne Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Kade kicked off the 14/15 contest season with a bang winning 3 divisions at the SW Explorer doubleheader opening weekend at Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier. The surf was pumping and Kade was loving the sizable conditions sweeping the Menehuenes and stepping up with a Boys division win in event 2. Fave thing about Crystal Pier:“The lefts that run down the beach & the ice cream shop!” Local spot: Lowers. Fave surfer: Kolohe Andino. Shred crew: All the San Clemente kids. Goal: To win a National title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 8/1/2014

SPENCER BRIDGES

Age: 16
Hometown: Summit, New Jersey
School: Morristown Beard High School
Sponsors: Jetty Clothing, Body Glove, Wave Riding Vehicles, Reflekt, Sicktrix.com, Eastern Lines Surf Shop
Claim to Fame: Spencer’s surfing has greatly improved over the past year & his persistence is paying off. In chest high punchy surf at the Ocean City event, he was killing it. He claimed four 1st places in Open Mens, Explorer Mens, Juniors & Longboard. Look out for this guy as he puts the pedal to the medal in the 14/15 season! Fave thing about Ocean City: The wave consistency & the ferris wheel! Local spot: Belmar, Cisco Beach. Fave surfers: Julian Wilson, Rob Kelly. Shred crew: Rob & Chris Kelly, Alex Brooks
 

Surfer of the Week - 6/19/2014

EMILY RUPPERT

Age: 19
Hometown: Indialantic, Florida
School: University of North Florida
Sponsors: Fox, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Hurricane Grill, FCS, Gorilla Grip
Claim to Fame: Emily has made a huge splash in her freshman year at the University of North Florida. Adding firepower to the squad, UNF was the highest placing east coast team at the Nationals taking 4th. She has racked up big results this season including a 1st place in the College Womens at the East Coast Regionals. Her biggest win was this week at Salt Creek where she sealed her first National title. She also won the top individual collegiate prize, the Chuck Allen Trophy, the Heisman of college surfing.
 

Surfer of the Week - 5/13/2014

SHANE BORLAND

Age: 14
Hometown: Topanga, California
School: CAVA; 9th grade
Sponsors: RVCA, Globe, Tuttle Surfboards, Gorilla Grip
Claim to Fame: Shane has been on a tear in the chilly waters of Norcal. He won 3 straight in the Northwest Open Juniors including back-to-back wins at the season finale at Pleasure Point & Steamer Lane in solid 3-5 foot surf. He will focus to keep that momentum going for the upcoming championships! Fave thing about Santa Cruz: The power & there is always swell. Local spot: Malibu. Fave surfer: John John. Shred crew: Kadin, Brogie, Micky, Carlos & my brother Jimbo. Goals: To do well at the Westerns & Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 5/6/2014

BRANDON MITCHELL

Age: 17
Hometown: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
School: Bridgeway Academy; Senior
Sponsors: Rip Curl, Spy, South End Surf Shop, Atlantic Lines Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Brandon wrapped up a stellar season making 15 finals and finished with 3 conference titles in Explorer Mens, Explorer Juniors & Open Mens. With the likes of Luke Gordon & Tyler Faulkner, it’s clear that the Mid-Atlantic is hotly contested. “I’m really stoked to win 3 titles. Now I hope to make finals at the Nationals.” Local spot: Masonboro Island. Fave surfer: Dane Reynolds. Shred crew: Tyler Faulkner, Silas Clemmons & Miller Diggs. Goals: Post big scores, turn heads & take home some hardware!
 

Surfer of the Week - 4/29/2014

NIC HDEZ

Age: 17
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
School: Oasis High School; 11th grade
Sponsors: Quiksilver, Oakley, Pro Lite Int, Channel Islands, Sex Wax
Claim to Fame: It was Game On for Nic in the final event of the 2013/14 SW Open regular season. He was surfing impressively all weekend in pumping Uppers surf. In the Mens final he was on fire taking his first win of the year. “I’ve been making some finals lately but it feels great to get the win because everyone is surfing at a high level.” Fave thing about Uppers: It compares to home. Local spot: Pleasure Point. Fave surfer: Taylor Knox. Shred crew: Kyle Buthman, Nat Young, Noi K. Goal: Get a National title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 4/24/2014

TOMMY COLEMAN

Age: 12
Hometown: Sebastian, Florida
School: K12; 6th grade
Sponsors: Billabong, Smith Optics. Sanuk, FCS, Gorilla Grip, Grom Social, Lost Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Tommy made people stand up and take notice at the 2013 Nationals when he claimed 2 titles in the Open Mini Groms & Explorer Super Groms. We knew this kid was destined for a bright future and he proved it again winning Open Boys & Menehuenes at the 2014 East Coast Regionals. He also stepped up huge making the Open Juniors final. Fave thing about NSB: The town is so nice & the waves are consistent. Fave surfer: CJ Hobgood. Shred crew: The Marks family. Goal: Hopefully win 2 more National titles!
 

Surfer of the Week - 4/15/2014

CHELSEA ROETT

Age: 19
Hometown: Bridgetown, Barbados
School: University of the West Indies; Freshman
Sponsors: Oakley, Lime, GTI Surfboards, Move2more
Claim to Fame: It was Chelsea’s first trip to a major NSSA Championship event and she crushed it. The talented Bajan was ripping New Smyrna at the East Coast Regionals and had a field day taking both titles in the Open and Explorer Womens. She’s been putting up big results in the Caribbean but has now made a big name for herself in America. She will surely be on everyone’s radar at the Nationals! Fave thing about NSB: The fun shorebreak peaks. Fave surfer: Carissa Moore. Shred crew: All the Bajan boys & Gabby.
 

Surfer of the Week - 4/7/2014

Kaleb Kirshenbaum

Age: 11
Hometown: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
School: Seabreeze Elementary; 5th grade
Sponsors: Hurley, Etnies, Aqua East, Spy, FCS Gorilla, Mellow Mushroom
Claim to Fame: This grom has been working hard on his surfing at it shows. He was the talk of the town at the East Coast Regionals making a huge statement destroying his heats and winning 2 titles in the Open Mini Groms & Explorer Super Groms. He even pocketed 100 bucks for earning the highest total score on day 3 of the Regionals. We can’t wait to see him shred at the Nationals! Fave thing about NSB: It's a really good wave. Fave surfer: Kelly Slater. Local spot: Jax Pier. Shred crew: The Thompson brothers.
 

Surfer of the Week - 3/13/2014

CONNER DAND

Age: 16
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: San Clemente High School; Sophomore
Sponsors: Globe, Nation mfg Surfboards, XM
Claim to Fame: Conner officially entered himself in the premier NSSA championship record books taking his first title winning the High School Mens at the State Championships at Church. “It feels amazing to win my first major NSSA title, I’m super stoked!” Fave thing about Church: The long rights. You can surf until you feel like your legs are going to fall off. Fave surfer: John John. Local spot: Trestles. Surf crew: Curran, my dad, Jordan Kudla, Ethan Shaffer, Kevin Schulz, Ren Kramer. Goal: To win Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 2/24/2014

OWEN MOSS

Age: 9 years old
Hometown: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
School: Wrightsville Beach Elementary; 4th Grade
Sponsors: Sweetwater Surf Shop, Arcade Mfg., Sol-life Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Owen just came off a great performance at the Mid Atlantic event 4 in Surf City, NC. The 9-year-old powerhouse didn’t let the wind & rain effect him, he was ripping. He posted the highest wave of the event-a 9.0 earning the name “manchild” from the judges. Fave thing about Surf City: It always has good rights & lefts with not many closeouts. Fave surfer: Kelly Slater. Local spot: The South End, Wrightsville. Goals: To keep having fun surfing, win an East Coast Champ title & go to the Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 2/14/2014

JD LEWIS

Age: 21
Hometown: Cardiff, California
School: Mira Costa College
Sponsors: Arnette, Futures Fins, Dakine, Hansen's Surf Shop
Claim to Fame: JD has been competing in the NSSA since he was a grom and although he had come close to victory, it never transpired. But as they say “hard work pays off” & after years of a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, JD finally claimed his first win in a stacked final at the College event 4 at HB’s 9th St! Fave thing about HB: It feels like a second home. Fave surfer: Andy Irons. Shred crew: My brother Matt, Derrick Disney & all the groms at Seaside. Goals: Keep challenging myself and win the Nationals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 2/4/2014

KEVIN SCHULZ

Age: 18
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: Northeastern University; College freshman
Sponsors: Rusty clothing, Move or Die Surfboards, Smith Optics, Xcel Wetsuits, DaKine
Claim to Fame: Kevin didn’t follow the norm. He graduated from San Clemente High last June with a goal of continuing the NSSA Open for 1 more year while going to college and preparing for the WQS. His decision is paying off. He sits at the top of the Open Mens ratings taking his 2nd win of the season at Salt Creek. Fave thing about Creek: The lefts are my favorite & there are always fun waves here. Shred crew: Brandon Hawkins, Lucas Taub, Ethan Carlston, Conner Dand, Ren Krammer Goal: Win the conference title!
 

Surfer of the Week - 1/28/2014

GAVIN EASON

Age: 10
Hometown: Santa Barbara, California
School: Crane Country Day School: 5th grade
Sponsors: Surf Happens, FNA, J7 Surfboards, Dizm, A Frame Surf Shop. "My dream sponsor is Hurley!"
Claim to Fame: Gavin began competing in the Gold Coast at 7 mentored by longtime NSSA member Chris Keet. After many ups & downs over the past 4 years, he put his game face on this season with the goal of winning 4 contests & the Super Grom Conference title. With tons of determination he finished off the season taking his 4th win & the title in heavy Ventura Harbor surf! Fave thing about the Harbor: It's really good for practicing closeouts! Shred crew: Curty, Hammy, Caden & Cayden. Goals: Top 3 in Regionals!
 

Surfer of the Week - 1/5/2014

KEI KOBAYASHI

Age: 15
Hometown: San Clemente, California
School: San Clemente High School; 9th grade
Sponsors: O'Neill, Electric, FCS, Neck Tans, Etnies, Lost Surfboards
Claim to Fame: Kei use to despise beachbreak. Growing up in perfect Lowers surf, who could blame him? Realizing he had to step up his beachbreak game fast in order to be a successful competitor, the 2009 National Mini Grom Champ worked hard to improve skills and the rewards have paid off. At the Seaside Reef Open in peaky sandbar surf, Kei blew up making both the Mens & Juniors finals! Fave thing about Seaside: It's a good left. Fave surfer: John John. Shred crew: All the SC guys. Goal: Not losing first round!