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Local rising star asserts himself on a massive stage in Huntington Beach.

By Jake Howard 

It was a big week of action at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, especially for San Clemente’s Kade Matson.

Matson took out the hotly contested Junior Men division, bringing the title home to San Clemente for the first time since 2015. In the final, he faced off against another hometown talent, Jett Schilling, as well as Japan’s Joh Azuchi and Australia’s Caleb Tancred.

“Can’t believe it, best day of my life!!”  Matson gushed on Instagram.

This marks back-to-back regional Pro Junior wins for Matson, as he now puts plenty of space between himself and the field trying to secure a spot toward World Junior Championships qualification.

In the main event, Griffin Colapinto brought the passion and the fire all week long, looking like one of the in-form surfers of the event. Running out of gas in the semifinals, he settled for a very respectable third-place finish.

Colapinto and current world No. 1 Kolohe Andino will now look toward the Tahiti Pro at Teahupoo later this month. Andino is leading the race for the 2019 world title, and a good result in the South Pacific will help get him closer to his goal. He’s had some good results there over the past couple of years and should be feeling pretty comfortable.

For the juniors, the RVCA Pro Junior will take place September 27-29 in Newport Beach.

Kade Matson on top of the world after winning the U.S. Open Junior Men division. Photo: Herron/WSL
Kade Matson on top of the world after winning the U.S. Open Junior Men division. Photo: Herron/WSL


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