Australian Rip Curl GromSearch series will be joined by wildcards from the #GromSearchOnline event in Melbourne on Monday 6th March. An armada of Illawarra groms are entering the wildcard with hopes of being seen and selected.

Two resident talents along the Grand Pacific, which many riders cannot have failed to have noticed, are Ethan Rule and Pearl Peters. These folks put the time and the effort in, every damned day. Supported by their families to get them to events up and down the East coast of Australia, their recent training coming from the coaches at Surf Adventure Academy Australia, and cheered on by their friends, board rider clubs and local SLSCs.

Ethan Rule is not your average 13-year-old. He has all the determination one would expect to see in someone twice his age. This Thirroul resident began surfing at the age of 9 and is in the water every day, soaking in his coach’s mantra of “whatever is drilled in during training, is what comes out during combat”. Competitions just add that extra element of challenge, giving him that steely ambition, a trait recognised in pro surfers. Anyone that watches Ethan’s chilled, effortless style could be easily tricked into comparing him with Harry Bryant, with what his Vans team mates call “Australian surfing personified”.

Ethan (EJ) Rule, surfer from the Illawarra

Riding his locally shaped DP board, Ethan has become a solid resident of Sandon Point, doing whatever he can to earn a good wave. You will never get this guy out of the water and he is locked and loaded ready for the U16 Grom Boys of Yeti Australian Junior Online Surf Championships as well as passionately posting his entries for the wildcard Rip Curl GromSearch series.

15-year-old Pearl Peters of Sandon Point Board Riders has been shortboarding seriously for the past four years, amping it up over the last six months with local coaching , and the constant support of her parents, which include a Sandon Point surfing stalwart. Riding custom boards, shaped by Parish Byrne at Byrne Surfboards, Pearl is a standout at Sandon or Woonona with her very watchable style. She is posting her recent rides on her Instagram for the Yeti U16 Jnr Women and the Rip Curl GromSearch Series.

Yeti Australian Junior Online Surf Championships closing date is 28th February so there are a few days to amp Ethan’s and Pearl’s entry with a follow of their Instagram, a like and a message of support. There are sure to be keen groms at every one of the 100+ breaks along the Illawarra, so get behind your locals and tag us so we can track their achievements.

Successful entrants for Yeti will be notified on the 6th March and the Rip Curl wildcard will be held on the 6th March in Melbourne. Seems like a manic Monday for all the Illawarra riders.

They all know they’ve got to be in it, to win it.  Them’s the rules.


Photo credits include: @TYGphoto and @surfadventureco as well as Grand Pacific Customs