15 hours ago | Updated 14 hours ago

All photos: John Jackson

The future of American surfing was on display last weekend at DMJ’s at the first stop of the national USA Surfing Prime Tour. Surf was rippable, and the kids were, well, ripping.  Watch the vid below to see how hard, and results below that to see who came out on top. (Hint: Jett Schilling (pictured above) won both the U16 and U18 divisions, which says something about how well the kid was surfing.)


According to organizers, the goal of USA Surfing’s Prime Series — a 10-stop, cross-country tour — is to bridge the gap young surfers experience when trying to make the leap from pro junior competition to next-level competition opportunities, including a position on the USA Surfing national teams, the WSL Qualifying Series and potentially the Olympics and WSL Championship Tour.

Worth noting: several current WSL surfers honed their competitive skills on the Prime events, including 2018 US Open champions Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi, 2nd-ranked Lakey Peterson, 15th-ranked Kolohe Andino, 10th-ranked Griffin Colapinto and 11th-ranked Conner Coffin. Number six in the world, 16-year old Caroline Marks qualified for the WSL Championship Tour while still competing in the East Coast Prime Series.

“The Prime Series is universally regarded as the highest level of junior surfing in the USA and has been instrumental in transitioning talented kids from being standout amateurs to stars on the USA Surfing ISA World Junior Championship training team, the WSL Qualifying Series and World Tour,” USA Surfing President and Prime Series co-founder Andrea Swayne said.

“There is no question USA Surfing has developed a strong pipeline of talent,” said USA Surfing CEO and Prime Series co-founder Greg Cruse. “These are the athletes that show great promise not just for the 2020 Olympic Games, but 2024 in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles.”


Girls U18
1 Alyssa Spencer
2 Caitlin Simmers
3 Makena Burke
4 Samantha Sibley

Alyssa Spencer.

Girls U16
1 Caitlin Simmers
2 Alyssa Spencer
3 Sawyer Lindblad
4 Makena Burke

Caitlin Simmers.

Boys U18
1 Jett Schilling
2 Levi Slawson
3 Jabe Swierkocki
4 Taj Lindblad

Levi Slawson (2nd place).

Boys U16
1 Jett Schilling
2 Taj Lindblad
3 Levi Slawson
4 Patrick O’connor

Boy’s U16 finalists.

Boys U14
1 Dane Matson
2 Lucas Owston
3 Luke Butterfield
4 Jak Ziets

Dane Matson.

Got Milk Prime Series Schedule: 

October 13 – 14, 2018 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event – Atlantic City, New Jersey
October 20 – 21, 2018 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event – Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA
November 17 – 18, 2018 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event and East Coast Junior Team Training – Nags Head, North Carolina
December 8 – 9, 2018 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event, Salt Creek, Dana Point, CA
January 13 – 14, 2019 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CA
February 9 – 10, 2019 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event – Huntington Beach Pier, CA
March 2 – 3, 2019 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event and East Coast Junior Team Training – New Smyrna Beach, FL
March 9 – 10, 2019 – USA Surfing Prime Junior Event – Oceanside Harbor, CA

The series culminates with USA Surfing Championships in June – the pinnacle competition with 250 of the nation’s top surfers competing for national titles at Lower Trestles.


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