Hendrickson rules waves, along with Weston-Webb
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Maui's Tanner Hendrickson completed his scholastic surfing career in Hawai'i at the top of his class yesterday.
Hendrickson won three divisions at the Hawaiian Regional Championships of the National Scholastic Surfing Association at Kewalo Basin.
"This is my last year in NSSA, so this was my last NSSA contest in Hawai'i," said Hendrickson, 17. "I'm stoked to end it like this. I didn't expect it, so it's cool."
The Hawaiian Regional Championships featured more than 200 of the state's top scholastic surfers, ranging from elementary school to high school.
The top finishers will represent Hawai'i at the NSSA National Championships in June at Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Hawaiian Regional Championships started on Saturday and continued on Sunday. It took Monday and Tuesday off due to a lack of waves, and concluded yesterday in 1- to 2-foot waves.
"Even though the waves weren't that good, it was still a good time," Hendrickson said. "The waves were small, but you just had to make the most of it."
Hendrickson won the open men, explorer juniors and explorer men divisions. The open men's division is considered the most prestigious of the contest because it features many soon-to-be professional surfers.
"Winning the open men is the biggest one for me," said Hendrickson, a senior at Elite Element Academy.
He was joined in the open men's final by fellow Maui surfer Ian Gentil, and O'ahu surfers Ezekiel Lau and Isaiah Moniz.
"It was pretty inconsistent in the beginning," Hendrickson said. "We all waited a while, then there was a good flurry (of waves) and I got a pretty good right. Then toward the end of the heat, I got a good double-up left and that's what helped me."
Moniz placed second, Lau was third, and Gentil fourth. All four will compete at the national championships.
Hendrickson said he has made several final heats at the national championships, but has never won a national title.
"I got second, third, fourth ... everything but first," he said. "I would be stoked to get it this year."
If he surfs like he did yesterday, he's got a good shot. Hendrickson said surfing in all types of conditions off Maui helped prepare him for yesterday's small waves.
"We surf every day on Maui, good or bad," he said. "I'm used to surfing waves like this."
Tatiana Weston-Webb of Kaua'i won the open women's division — the top division for females.
"It wasn't the best conditions, but it was still fun," she said. "There were some waves — better than flat."
Lahiki Minamishin of the Big Island was the only other surfer to win three divisions. He won the open juniors, explorer boys and airshow divisions.
"It was real small, so the key was just get as many (waves) as you can and do one big turn to get a score," he said.
Minamishin, who is 14 and a freshman at Elite Element Academy, said he is also seeking his first national title.
"That's like a stepping stone to go pro, so everybody wants to do good at nationals," he said.
Seth Moniz of O'ahu won the open boys and explorer menehune divisions. He scored a perfect 10 in the open boys final.
Men: 1, Tanner Hendrickson. 2, Isaiah Moniz. 3, Ezekiel Lau. 4, Ian Gentil. Women: 1, Tatiana Weston-Webb. 2, Mahina Maeda. 3, Bailey Nagy. 4, Dax McGill. Boys: 1, Seth Moniz. 2, Kaulana Apo. 3, Noa Mizuno. 4, Imai DeVault. 5, Finn McGill. 6, Lucas Angulo. Juniors: 1, Lahiki Minamishin. 2, Isaiah Moniz. 3, Jesse Guglielmana. 4, Josh Moniz. Mini-groms: 1, Wyatt McHale. 2, Finn McGill. 3, Barron Mamiya. 4, Cody Young. 5, Elijah Fox. 6, Noah Beschen.
Juniors: 1, Tanner Hendrickson. 2, Matty Costa. 3, Kyle Galtes. 4, Kylen Yamakawa. 5, Cole Yamakawa. 6, Isaiah Moniz. Boys: 1, Lahiki Minamishin. 2, Joshua Moniz. 3, Kalani David. 4 (tie), Luke Hitchcock, Ian Gentil and Koa Smith. Men: 1, Tanner Hendrickson. 2, Ezekiel Lau. 3, Matty Costa. 4, Kyle Galtes. 5, Gavin Klein. 6, Eli Olson. Girls: 1, Bailey Nagy. 2, Tatiana Weston-Webb. 3, Mahina Maeda. 4, Dax McGill. 5, Cayla Moore. 6, Kiana Fores. Women: 1, Brianna Cope. 2, Cayla Moore. 3, Maluhia Kinimaka. 4, Bailey Nagy. 5, Mahina Maeda. 6, Kiana Fores. Menehune: 1, Seth Moniz. 2, Lucas Angulo. 3, Kaulana Apo. 4, Elijah Gates. 5, Kaunaloa Ng. 6, Dylan Lehmann. Super seniors: 1, Raymond Shito. 2, Gilbert Perea. Airshow: 1, Lahiki Minamishin. 2, Keala Naihe. 3, Isaiah Moniz.