Andino makes waves as national champ


Kolohe Andino is surfing royalty. The son of a former national champ, Andino grew up riding the world's best waves and hanging with the world's best surfers.

Now, the Pacific Coast (Tustin, Calif.) sophomore is one of them.

Andino entered the record books at this summer's 2009 National Scholastic Surfing Association Nationals to cement his name among the best. At 15 years and 97 days old, he became the youngest surfer to win the Open Men's championship, besting the record his father, Dino, set back in 1985. Andino and his dad also became the first father-son combo to capture the prestigious title.

While winning the NSSA Open Men's title -- the same event surfing legends like three-time world champ Andy Irons have won -- at such a young age is impressive, it's just one of the many records Andino set at Nationals.

Andino, who's sponsored by Red Bull and Billabong, also won the NSSA Airshow and Explorer Boys' divisions to become the NSSA's all-time male leader with nine career national titles, two more than current ASP World Championship Tour surfer Bobby Martinez.

Such success comes as no surprise to those who've watched Andino grow up. Irons once said of Andino, "It's only a matter of time before the kid rules the world."

Andino's time has come. The prince of surfing is ready to wear the king's crown.

Brian A. Giuffra covers high school sports for ESPN RISE Magazine.