Another Westsider Wins A National Title

In a year that started with Tua Tagovailoa’s NCAA-title-winning touchdown pass, the west side has produced another national champ.

Robert Grilho III, former Kapolei Middle School student, is the youngest ever winner of the National Scholastic Surfing Association men’s open division championship.

He captured the title last week at 15 years and 3 months of age. The youngest previous NSSA champion, Kohole Andino, was just a few days older when he won in 2008. Andino is now the #15-ranked surfer in the world.

The event was held at Huntington Beach, CA, which may have given Robert a bit of an advantage. Huntington Beach’s waves are on the smaller side, like those Robert grew up riding at Barbers Point.

In an interview with Freesurf magazine, Robert says that he wasn’t much of a beachgoer until his dad bought him a surfboard at age 8. They went to Barbers Point that day and he caught his first wave.

By age 11, then a student at Kapolei Middle School, Robert had his first sponsor, Ronin Eyewear.

Now, just past age 15, Robert is a national champion and sponsored by some of the biggest brands in surfing: Check out his team pages for Rip Curl and T&C Surf.

In addition to the NSSA event, Robert has been entering men’s qualifying competitions in the World Surf League. Follow Robert’s progress on his World Surf League athlete page.

All right enough reading already—let’s check out Robert in action!

You football fans out there will get this—looks like there’s a new RGIII in town.

Robert’s victory image, top, via Aragon/NSSA