“I have for many years felt like I represented the ‘Oddball Surfers of America,’” says Kevin Grondin. “No one thinks that places like New Hampshire, Maine, or Rhode Island could possibly have good surf or even good surfers.” As East Coast surfers know, it takes a special tenacity to prove one’s place in the greater surfing world. Grondin did that — and then some.
As a competitive surfer, Grondin won multiple US Championships and nine East Coast Surfing Championships, including, most recently, the coveted ESA Iron Man award. In 1995, as a coach for Team USA, he won the Pan American Championships Team title. A year later, he and Team USA took the ISA World Surfing Games Team Gold Medal.
But where Grondin’s mark has been most felt is among the amateur careers he helped nurture — along with Bruce Walker (Class of 2002), Grondin coached the Lopez and Hobgood brothers, Ben Bourgeois, Bryan Hewitson, and many other up- and-coming East Coast surfers (and future Hall of Famers). Today, Grondin’s still focused on giving back. “I would really like to encourage everyone who surfs to consider helping the less fortunate — we all learn something from helping others.”