Playa Venao 2012 International Surfing Association World Juniors Championship

I have been surfing for nearly 26 years.  In my entire surfing life I’ve never seen the concentrated quality of high performance surfing like seen throughout the  2012 International Surfing Association World Junior Surfing Championships recently held at Playa Venao, Panama.  There were teams from more than thirty countries surfing their hearts out, not for prize money, but for glory.

Credit ISA Rommel Gonzalez

Dylan Lightfoot Surfer

Like most individual sports associated with a board of some sorts, be it skate boarding, wake boarding, snow boarding, surfing and the like, usually the most progressive and radical competitors are the youngsters.  The young ones are always extremely energetic, athletic and enthusiastic to go for the newest most difficult radical tricks.  I’ve never witnessed so many talented surfers flying around.

Credit ISA Rommel Gonzalez

Hawaiian Surfer Kaoli Kahokuloa

The contest is a olympic style event.  The competitors compete against each other individually in what are called heats.  As the individual competitors pass through heats, points are totaled towards their country.  Which ever country has the most competitors winning through to the final heats will have the most points and win the championship.

Credit ISA Parkin

Pedasi Panama ISA Ceremony Juniors 2012

The professionalism of the I.S.A. and their staff was incredible.  The opening ceremonies was a spectacle that local Pedasienos have never seen in their home town.  All the participating teams paraded through the streets of Pedasi in uniform waving their respective flags.  Mixed in were local marching bands and indigenous dancers.  There were speeches, dancing and a huge fireworks display.  It was an impressive show.  Also during the week, the I.S.A. and El Sitio hosted a Aloha Beach Party at Playa Venao for all the competitors.  Their was a huge bond fire and music.  The kids turned it in to a break dance and limbo contest.  It was very entertaining to say the least.

Credit ISA Parkin

Playa Venao Aloha Beach Party

The home team Panama finished 17th overall out of thirty-one countries. It was obvious Panama’s Team had a good time and a great learning experience that the youngsters will carry with them for future events.

 Credit ISA Parkin

Team Panama ISA Juniors 2012

This year Team Hawaii took the gold followed by Australia and Brazil with Silver and Bronze medals respectively.

Credit ISA Parkin

Team Hawaii Winners ISA Juniors 2012

Im really stoked that I had the opportunity to see so much of this contest.  It was an experience I will never forget.

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