Stab Magazine | Wiping The Dust Off The NSSA Nationals Photo Albums

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Wiping The Dust Off The NSSA Nationals Photo Albums

From John Florence to Bobby Martinez, Riss Moore to Andrew Doheny, Andy Irons and more!

style // Sep 5, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Even though Summer (US), according to the calendar, passed over Labor Day weekend all of a sudden the weather’s gotten hot and swampy. The water temps ticked up a few degrees and a little hurricane is brewing off the coast. 

Year in and year out, the NSSA serves as the backbone of junior surfing in America. With divisions up and down the East and West Coasts, as well as in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the organization serves aspiring surf grommets from the time they’re in kindergarten to the time they wrap high school. Since their founding in 1978, just about every eventual surf star has done their time in an NSSA jersey.

“My dad bought a camper and would park it at the beach every weekend and watch sports while I surfed,” remembers Rob Machado.

I recently came across the NSSA Facebook, and they’ve been having fun posting some classic images from Nationals past. Because we couldn’t help ourselves, here are a few that made us smile and reminded us that everyone starts somewhere… and if you’re a kid with dreams of being a surf star in America, more often than not that journey begins at NSSA Nationals.

Banana Boat Florence. Photo: Aaron Checkwood

Before John John Florence was a two-time world champ, the young toe-head from Hawaii rocked an O’Neill sticker on the nose of his Pyzel and baggy NSSA jerseys. How high his star would rise already seemed to be a foregone conclusion 15 years ago when he won the 2003 NSSA Nationals Open Mini Grom title. In 2005 he got himself an NSSA Nationals Open Boy’s title. Somewhere in there he also started charging Pipeline…and the rest, as they say, is history.

Before Bobby Martinez looked into surfing’s crystal ball and started spouting prophesies!

“I feel like it was another lifetime. I can’t even fathom being that person or doing what I used to do,” Bobby Martinez told Stab in an interview. “I kind of look at myself and think, how the fuck did I do that? Did I really do that? I have all trophies that I won, but they’re in a box in a closet in my daughter’s room. I don’t have them out. There’s nothing in my house that’s surf related. Nothing. No magazines, nothing. There’s nothing in my life, and there never has been, where you walk into my house and you think, ‘Oh, okay, this guy must surf.'”

Even then, Riss brought the dijon. Photo: Aaron Checkwood

There was no question Carissa Moore was going to be a world champ. From her earliest NSSA days, she was just better than everyone else. I remember sitting across the table of a restaurant in Hawaii meeting her father, Chris, for the first time when she was 11 and he says, “Nobody knows how fucking good she is.” It didn’t take long for her to prove it as she amassed 11 NSSA National Titles.

Andrew is, and will always be, one of Stab’s most adored sliders.

Droid, when he was a beaver-toothed, shit-hot grommet from Newport Beach. He was bound for competitive greatness…then he found rock n’ roll and started shaping his own surfboards. Jersey or no, dude still rips. In 2007 and ’08 he became only the second surfer ever to win back-to-back NSSA Junior titles.

AI with a Quiky. 

Before it was Billabong and HIC it was Quik and T&C for Andy Irons. One of the most iconic former NSSA competitors, he won his National title in ’96. Today there’s award in his honor that goes to the most outstanding performance at Nationals. 

Nice whip.

In 2005, Clay Marzo showed up at Lowers, dropped two 10-point rides in the final and became an instant surf star. It would only come out later that he endured Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. A freakishly good goofy-footer, Quiksilver tried to press the issue and recruited him for their Young Guns program, but he was always more happy cruising at home on Maui, pulling into pits and blowing tail. Follow him on Instagram, dude’s a little older but still as smooth as they come.

Brother and Father.

Kolohe Andino was the poster child for the NSSA for awhile. With his pops, Dino, running the show at Oakley, most of the ebb and flow of Kolohe’s young life was dictated by the contest buzzer. When they weren’t on the road going to NSSA comps they were in the water practicing, dialing in boards with Matt Biolos, and striving to reach the top. 


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