Hawaiʻi Surf Team beats 45 countries to win 2022 world junior championship in El Salvador
At the 2022 International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador, the Hawai’i Surf Team beat 45 countries with more than 400 competitors to win the team title — and the North Shore’s Luke Swanson and Wahiawā’s Ēweleiʻula Wong won individual gold medals in the 18-year-old divisions.
The team arrived today at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to fans, friends and family.
The nine-day competition was held in highly contestable conditions with overhead- to well-overhead waves at two breaks in El Salvador: La Bocana and El Sunzal. The final day of competition featured challenging overhead, windy conditions at La Bocana.
Hawaiʻi’s team gold medal is its first since 2014 and its fourth title overall in the 18 years of the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.
After making it through some challenging repechage rounds (for the best of those who didn’t win heats), Swanson beat teammate and fellow North Shore resident Shion Crawford in a wild, close final heat to take the title for the under 18-year-old boys division. Crawford took silver.
Wong fought through adversity after a loss in the early rounds relegated her to the losers’ bracket. After battling through six heats over two days, she was largely uncontested in the final to win gold in the under 18-year-old girls division. Honolulu’s Luke Tema also fought his way through the repechage rounds and finished third in the under 16-year-old boys division.
This prestigious competition features the best young surfing talent in the world and serves as a leading pathway to world class and Olympic surfing. In the last junior championship, Hawaiʻi placed second.
The Hawaiʻi team was coached by Chris Martin and former world tour competitor Shane Dorian.
“It has been so cool to see our athletes dig deep,” Dorian said. “Even those who had some bad luck surfed great and surfed with lots of heart.”
Martin added: “From day one our motto was, ‘We win as a family and we lose as a family.’ Heat by heat, wave by wave, we stayed focused on our task. We are the 2022 Gold Medal Team.”
Australia placed second overall, followed by the United States and France.
The 2022 Hawaiʻi Surf Team members:
- Boys under 18: Luke Swanson (Oʻahu), Kai Martin (Oʻahu), Shion Crawford (Oʻahu)
- Boys under 16: Jackson Dorian (Hawaiʻi), Luke Tema (Oʻahu), Rylan Beavers (Kauaʻi)
- Girls under 18: Ēweleiʻula Wong (Oʻahu), Nora Liotta (Maui), Puamakamae Desoto (Oʻahu)
- Girls under 16: Haylee Boverman (Maui), Malia Lima (Kauaʻi), Vaihiti Inso (Oʻahu)
The Hawaiʻi Surf Team continues to look for financial support to help Hawaiʻi’s next generation of surfers compete in the annual ISA World Junior Championship. The cost is $7,000 for each of the 12 team members and two coaches. Help these athletes defend their world title next year by becoming a sponsor:
- Team and athlete sponsorship opportunities or matching funds
Contact: Brandi Martin, [email protected] or808-499-5502
- Monetary donations are being raised directly by the athletes
Visit their GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/2022-hawaii-surf-team