Neighbor Island Youngsters Ian Bowman & Taoa Pou Get Crack at Pro Surfing


HONOLULU — The $25,000 Sponsor Me Hawaii pro surfing event at Ala Moana Bowls is all about providing a platform for up and coming talent to pursue their dreams. True to their mission, Sponsor Me is paving the way for two young neighbor island surfers to embark upon the road to a pro surfing career. Ian Bowman, 18, of Hilo, Hawaii and Taoa Pou, 13, of Molokai will receive complimentary entry and mentoring through the 2-star World Qualifying Series event by several of Hawaii’s most established surfers including Makuakai Rothman and Myles Padaca.

The holding period for the two-day event is June 14-26. Competition is open to both amateur and professional surfers who are looking to gain traction in the pro ranks. Organizers expect the event to run on Monday and Tuesday with a highly contestable south swell in the forecast. It will be broadcast live over the Internet by, the leader of online surfing culture in connection with Ubiquity Broadcasting Corporation, and on Oceanic Digital Cable channels 250 and 1250 in Hawaii.

Bowman and Pou know that a good result at the Sponsor Me Hawaii at Ala Moana Bowls 2-star WQS event will get them exposure to the mainstream surf industry.

“For my career aspirations I will and am doing all I can do. I’ve been trying to get exposure through surfing as many contests,” said Bowman who recently graduated from Kamehameha Schools Keaau Campus and is planning to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo next year. “Coming from Hilo as of right now it’s pretty hard to become a professional surfer.”

On Friday, June 11 from 11 am-1 pm, Bowman and Pou will receive coaching from Makuakai Rothman and Myles Padaca at Magic Island. Padaca, 39, is originally from the Big Island and moved to the North Shore of O’ahu to pursue a pro surfing career. He is excited to share his wealth of surf contest experience and knowledge with the next generation of talented surfers, and does so through his company Progressive Surfing.

“We have so many good kids coming out of Hawaii and it’s really exciting coaching and it’s crazy to see how good they are when they are so young,” said Padaca. “They can do an air reverse before they can do a proper roundhouse and it’s exciting to see that technical aspect of surfing. It feels good to give back to surfing and I love working with under-privileged kids well.”

As an ASP Hawaii WQS event, The Sponsor Me Hawaii is a critically important event of the local surfers on three levels: International ratings points, the opportunity to win prize money and the chance to claim a spot in the coveted year-end $1,000,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series.

Call (808)596-SURF to find out if the event is on each day.

After the enormous success of the event last year, the Sony Corporation has come on board as one of the main sponsors at Ala Moana Bowls this year. Sony is enthralled with Sponsor Me’s business plan and finds it a perfect fit for their products and business model.

Jodi Wilmott is with Ocean Promotion