22nd annual Big Island event showcases Hawaii’s up-and-coming talent


When you’re a kid, receiving an autograph from your favorite pro surfer is a sacred experience. It’s like peering behind the curtain, entering a new dimension, and accessing the almighty. Over the weekend, more than 60 kids were gifted that divine interaction at the annual Shane Dorian Keiki Classic. This was the 22nd year running for the event, which allows top Hawaiian grommets the opportunity to impress their heroes at the Big Island’s Banyans lineup. Kelly Slater, Zeke Lau, Torrey Meister, Matt Meola, and of course, Shane-O were on-hand.





“It’s such a great event,” Slater said. “It would be nice to see one of these in every beach town. The spirit of the event helps kids feel comfortable and included and part of the community. Local businesses help out and everyone has a feel good time dedicating their energy for the weekend. I wish this was around when I was a kid. I’m really proud of Shane and everyone who has made this event happen. It’s a great blueprint for how to have a contest the right way.”
We also caught up with Dorian – the man behind the contest for over two decades – to hear his take on this year’s event and its positive impact on the kids.

How were the waves?


The surf was overhead for the groms and held throughout the day — barrels in the morning and shreddable conditions for the finals.


How many kids competed overall?




Which top surfers came out to support the event?


Matt Meola, Kai Barger, Torrey Meister, Zeke Lau, Kelly and we had Dave Wassel commentating the action.


Which sponsors/supporters were onboard?


Billabong, Reef, Monster Energy, Mokulele Airlines, JC Hawaii, Varial Foam and FireWire Surfboards.


How did it make you feel, personally, to be able to run the event again this year?


It takes a lot of work and effort from a lot of people to make the Keiki Classic happen, but this event is making a real impact on the kids in the community. Kids grow up looking forward to the event each year — to compete and experience a unique environment where having fun and enjoying the day is much more important than winning. I’m grateful for having so much support from the many volunteers, supporters and amazing sponsors that believe in our event. Stoked to continue to make the Keiki Classic happen every year!


2017 Keiki Classic Results


Girls 13 and Under:
1 Sophia Carlucci
2 Ewe Wong
3 Rumor Butts
4 Crislyn Simpson-Kane


Junior Girls 14-17
1 Chloe Smith
2 Kui Delovio
3 Carolyn Orr
4 Tegan Harrs


Junior Boys 14-17
1 Loa Ng
2 Ocean Sargis
3 Kade Ketcheson
4 Honu Longley


Boys 13 and Under
1 Brodi Sale
2 Luke Heflin
3 Ty Simpson Kane
4 Kaido Freeman