Surf News: Ethan Ewing Wins World Junior Champion
Ethan Ewing wins World Junior Champion
By: Kevin Williams
The 2016 World Junior Championship, which was set up by the World Surf League (WSL), saw Ethan Ewing crowned champion after a spectacular finals performance. The event took place in Kiama, New South Wales, and the confident 18-year-old surfer had said he wanted to start 2017 off with a bang. He did just that with an 11.34 to 1.97 win over his friend, United States surfer Griffin Colapinto. Ewing landed a 6.17 wave in the early going of the finals match and never relinquished his lead.
Ewing, an Australian surfer from North Stradbroke Island, is from a large surfing family. He has been surfing for as long as he can remember, and credits his older brothers and his father for helping him the most. He started his surfing career in Pro Jr.’s competitions before making the leap to QS events. At the 2016 Vans US Open of Surfing, Ewing announced himself in a big way in his debut at that tournament. He didn’t win, but he did end up in second place, and he took out three World Tour surfers along the way in Josh Kerr, Ryan Callinan and Adriano de Souza (the 2015 World Champion).
When it comes to the Juniors series, Ewing says that the main difference between America and Australia is the size, with Australia being much smaller. However, the Australian surfers have a tight-knit group, and Ewing often travels with those who are a bit older, at least when he’s not with his father.
Ewing came into the World Junior Championship as the top seed and lived up to expectations when he had the top two scores in his fourth-round heat. That got him into the quarterfinals, where he took on Jordy Maree out of South Africa. The two went head to head for about a half hour, but Ewing got an 8.83 wave and ended up with a 14.76 combined score, well ahead of Maree’s 10.67. That punched Ewing’s ticket to a semifinal matchup against a familiar face, Cody Young out of Hawaii. Young was one of the surfers that Ewing outscored in the fourth round.
In the semifinals, Ewing and Young put on a show, with the former narrowly winning the matchup by a score of 12.70 to 10.63. Ewing mentioned that he had been conserving his energy for the multiple heats, but would be able to go all out for the finals. Despite some poor weather conditions for that final heat, Ewing wouldn’t be denied and took a decisive victory.
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