Over the course of 99 issues, we’ve dedicated a fair amount of ink to introducing North Florida to some of its best homegrown wave riders. From legends like Mitch Kaufmann, Jason Hoey, and Clay Bennett, to future legends like Asher Nolan, Karina Petroni, Justin Quintal, and the Thompson Tribe—Cody, Evan, and Tristan—the abundance of talented surfers in our region often makes us wish we had more pages to devote to one of our favorite past-times.

So, as a sort of primer to the surfy pages one might expect to encounter within our next 100 issues, we caught up with Jason “Iron Man” Motes, a local legend who’s appeared in his fair share of photos in our mag, and asked the ESA All-Stars coach and 21-time East Coast champ to give us a little insight into the distinctive skill sets of the next generation of North Florida surf standouts.

Landon Wood
Age: 14
Shop Sponsor: Aqua East

“Landon just made the ESA All Star team. We call him the ‘babyface assassin.’ He’s got a crew of good surfers he hangs with. When it was big at the Eastern Surfing Championships, he was ripping. He’s really starting to figure it out.”

CJ Brittan
Age: 14
Shop sponsor: Aqua East
“At just 14, CJ surfs with the power of a grown man. He hails from St. Augustine. And he’s the powerhouse of his young crew of surfers. Remember this name.”

Maddie Franz
Age: 13
Shop Sponsor: Aqua East
“Maddie’s an ESA All-Star. She’s an incredible short boarder, but she really stands out on a longboard. She got second down at the Eco Pro Longboard. She caught a set wave at Sunset last year. She’s a charger!”

Photo: Mikey Sasser

Carl Burger
Age: 13
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“Carl’s won an East Coast championship already. He’s the most talented kid from Flagler to Fernandina. Currently surfing for Volcom and Sharp Eye Surfboards, he’s the next big thing.”  

Grace Knoechel
Age: 13
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“Grace is a really good skateboarder. And she has really progressed as a competitive surfer. She’s one of the most powerful surfers out of all the girls.”

Luke Tanner
Age: 13
Shop Sponsor: Rip Curl
“An explosive surfer, Luke grew like a foot in the last year. He needed some time to let his skill catch up to his body, but know that it has, he’s become one of the most exciting surfers in the lineup. He’ll throw an air reverse with the best of ‘em. So fun to watch.”

Solon McLaughlin
Age: 12
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“Solon’s super energetic. If you’ve ever see a picture of Solon, he’s an incredibly photogenic surfer. Lots of passion. Loves to surf. He’s usually out in the water before the sun comes up.”

Ty Jansen
Age: 12
“Passionate, enthusiastic surfer. Ty’s gotten a lot better lately. He has a great attitude. He seems to get better every session.”

Photo: Asher Nolan

Benji Lange
Age: 12
Shop Sponsor: Surf Station
“He is a really good surfer. But, what stands out to me about Benji, is he’s a grinder. He rips, don’t get me wrong. But he’s one of those kids who never quits. Over the last year, he’s really improved under the tutelage of Asher Nolan.”

Gunner Snead
Age: 12
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“For his age, he’s probably the best. He’s naturally talented. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in coming years.”

Olivia Jansen
Age: 11
Olivia just started competing this year. And she won the first contest she entered. She’s part of a great crew of girls that root for each other.

Annie Adams
Age: 11
“New to the game, but she’s come on strong. She has a natural feel for the wave. She’s got a low center of gravity and I think she’s going to be a force in years to come.”

Jordan Venn
Age: 11
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“Pretty quiet kid out of the water, but very enthusiastic in the water. He comes from a family of great surfers—his uncle Jason won Easterns and his dad Jeff was as good as anybody back in the day. He’s got a high ceiling.”

Simon Durham
Age: 11
Shop Sponsor: Sunrise
“Simon and Ty [Jansen] will call me and tell me about things they did out in the water. He’s excited about progressing in his surfing. He’s the most positive surfer in the water at all times. If I could take his energy and give it out to everybody, we’d all be better off.”

Next Gen. Back row (left to right): Luke Tanner, Ben McCarthy, Landon Wood, Ty Jansen, Carl Burger, CJ Britton | Third Row: Simon Durham, Benji Lange, Solon McGlauglin, Grace Knoechel | Second Row: Romie Stainaker, Lanea Mons, Olivia Jansen | Front Row: Coral Sasser, Ansley West, Jimmy Brittan // Photo: Ian Bunch

Next, Next Gen
Straight from the push-in division, here’s a list of names you’re likely to see in the 100 issues that follow our next 100: Owen Anthony (8), Jimmy Brittan (10), Lanea Mons (9), Coral Sasser (8), Ellie Rich (11), Ansley West (8), and Romie Stalnaker (9)