Griffin Colapinto (left) and brother Crosby with an enlargement of the latest cover of SURFER Magazine featuring a shot of Griffin, airborne in Santa Barbara. Photo: Courtesy

Griffin Colapinto (left) and brother Crosby with an enlargement of the latest cover of SURFER Magazine featuring a shot of Griffin, airborne in Santa Barbara. Photo: Courtesy

By Andrea Swayne

Griffin Colapinto, 16, of San Clemente, got one of the biggest surprises of his professional surfing career so far when he found out he was chosen to be on the cover of the latest issue of SURFER Magazine.

“After golfing with my manager (Blair Marlin) he invited me over for tacos,” Griffin said. “When we rolled up to his house and opened the gate, everyone was there. It was a surprise party for me to show me the cover. I was so rattled. It was one of the biggest moments of my life. It felt just like winning a big contest, really.”

Among the guests were a bunch of folks from the magazine, his family—including his grandparents—and some of his friends. Griffin was presented with an enlargement of the cover with the photo of an air section he hit at Casinos in Santa Barbara.

“We—me and Colt Ward and photographer  Nelly (Dave Nelson) and Kyle Boothman was filming—were at Rincon earlier that morning and it was kind of funky, not really good, so someone suggested we go check out this air wave called Casinos,” Griffin said. “We pulled up and saw Yadin Nicol was out and doing big airs and Nelly decided to shoot water. We had a couple of link-ups but I wasn’t thinking anything about it at the time.”

The guys at the magazine, he said, told him they had a bunch of pictures up on the wall, to vote on the next cover, and the photo wasn’t among them. The shot, as they say in film, was on the cutting room floor.

“Someone saw it on the ground and suggested it and they all agreed,” he said. “I was going for a blowtail reverse, spinning around and my rail caught and I ended up falling. I was pretty bummed I didn’t land it but the shot totally made up for that.”

Griffin’s next adventure begins Friday as he heads off to Martinique for World Surf League Qualifying Series event No. 8.

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