April 21, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: “Grom” Day Coming This Sunday

Registration runs through Wednesday, February 28

 By Nick Antonicello 

The Venice Surfing Association (VSA) will be hosting it’s annual Grom Day surfing spectacular beginning this sunday at 8AM on the northside of the Venice Fishing Pier. 

Grom stems from the word “grommet,” a term generally used to denote the lowest ranking members of a naval ship. This term was then borrowed by the Australian surf community to describe young, skilled surfers, employed as both a term of respect and a way to poke a little fun at the younger guys and girls in the water. 

Founded in May of 2022, the Venice Surfing Association has swelled to some 600 members and a dedicated network of local enthusiasts for each surfing contest. 

They have what is known as a “tentpole” sponsor for each event that financially supports the VSA, provides space for parties, and offers a robust number of high-quality prizes for contest winners. 

For Saturday’s Grom Day the Rider Shack Surf Shop will serve as the tentpole sponsor. 

Other sponsors of the VSA include the following organizations: 

  • Casting Networks
  • 28th Avenue Management
  • Sister Betsy Surf Wax
  • Juice Skate
  • Carver
  • The law offices of Schwimer Weinstein
  • Blenders
  • Utu Sunscreen
  • Magic Mind
  • Sunrise Surf Academy
  • Hecho En Venice
  • Corelords
  • Venice Brand 
  • Naybor Hoodiez
  • Massie Ding Repair
  • Venice Streetwear
  • Bonne Buffet Catering
  • Josh Bagel Klassman
  • Landlocked Custom Craft
  • Interiors Made Easy
  • Solo Scott Real Estate
  • Sunrise Surf Academy
  • Mercedes Grille
  • Waterfront Café
  • Venice Whaler
  • Fat Sal’s of Venice

According to VSA board director Gary Adler, their Instagram account is where members get most of their information @venicesurfingassociation. 

The registration For VSA Grom Day runs through Wednesday February 28th at midnight. Visit www.vsa.la or www.liveheats.com for the details. 

Interested in sponsorship activities with the VSA? 

Contact Ben@VSA.la or Gary@VSA.la to be a Grom Day contest volunteer. 

The Venice Surfing Association is a non-profit 5013C surfing club located in the Venice Beach Community, servicing the WestSide of Los Angeles. Brian Averill, who serves as President of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) and longtime local activist is also a board director. 

There are several local surf clubs up and down both coasts of the United States and around the globe. And because Venice is one of the Surf/Skate capitals of the world, what was missing in the community was a grass roots organization dedicated to the art of this unique skill and sport. Understanding this need, surfboard shaper & local surfing icon Guy Okazaki (www.guyokazaki.com) founded the club about 18 months ago. 

Both Guy and his wife Alix Gucovsky are passionate about the waves here in Venice. Alix also serves on the board with Guy. 

VSA Grom Day is for kids,16 and under, and kicks off their 2024 series with a fun day for all. They have games, prizes, trivia, and of course the surf contest. All then gather at Rider Shack in the afternoon, and  professional surfers review the kid’s surf footage from the contest, and work with them to improve their surfing skills. 

Grom Day kicks off the VSA 2024 schedule of events including: 

  • April 27th – Southside Classic
  • June 15th – Summer Showdown
  • August 17th – Northside Pier Fest
  • October 13th – Breakwater Open

For each contest the VSA works with a Venice artist to create the event’s poster. For VSA Grom Day 2024, Stephanie Wise created the message and image.  

The VSA has also partnered with Anderson Surfboards to create a scholarship program for families that need financial assistance becoming members and entering the contests. VSA also partners and supports Marine Mammal Care and the rebuilding of the community of Lahaina in Maui, Hawaii. 

Adler is an original supporter and both of his sons competed as amateurs. 

During those years, Adler learned that most of the kids that compete are more prepared, due to the fact that they have local organizations like the VSA in their respective hometowns. 

“Not only do we want the kids to have fun competing, forming friendships, but we want to prepare those surfers that want to pursue an amatuer career for what’s ahead, and how to achieve their goals. I experienced about 400 contests with my boys, but nothing prepared me for the monumental task of actually putting one of these contests on, so we’re always looking for more volunteers,” noted Adler. 

“We welcome anyone who wants to volunteer, or just enjoy the club to become a member of the Venice Surfing Association. We have a strong Board of Advisors that include Okazaki, Gucovsky, Averill, myself, Ben Cohen, Rafi Gordon, Jennifer Gordon and Stan Chui.” Nick Antonicello is a thirty-one year resident of Venice who can barely swim, much less surf! But covers the important events Venetians really want to attend and support. Have a take or a tip all things Venice? Contact Antonicello at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Hard, News
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