Kehu Butler Footing It With World’s Best In Puerto Rico Olympic Qualifier 

For immediate release   

1st March 2024

From: Surfing New Zealand  
Sport: International Surfing  
Event: 2024 ISA World Surfing Games  
Divisions: Open Men, Open Women  
Date: 23rd February – 3rd March 2024
Location: Puerto Rico
Websites: and   

Kehu Butler Footing It With World’s Best In Puerto Rico Olympic Qualifier

Kiwi surfer Kehu Butler (Mnt) has continued his unblemished run at the ISA World Surfing Games advancing through the main round overnight to sit amongst twelve athletes including the worlds elite, that remain in the main round of the event.

Butler is the last Kiwi standing at the Puerto Rico Olympic qualifier after team mate Billy Stairmand (Rag) fell in Repechage Round 4 today finishing the event in 37th place.

The surf remained around the 1.0m mark today with cross-shore winds impacting conditions at times.

Butler surfed an exceptional heat overnight posting a 13.13 point heat total to place second behind Australian Ethan Ewing (16.10), together, the two surfers eliminating World Tour surfer Rio Waida (INA).

Butler’s performance was highlighted by powerful backhand surfing tight in the pocket which was enough to net him single wave scores of 7.10 and 6.03.  That left the Indonesian needing a 6.47 point ride to push Butler to the repechage rounds, a feat he was unable to achieve.

Butler now faces off against Alonso Correa (PER), Marco Mignot (FRA) and Cody Young (CAN) in the next round for a chance to push through to the final six surfers in the main round and inch closer to Olympic qualification.  Butler will surf his Day 7 match up at 3:10am (NZT) tomorrow morning.

The company he is keeping includes three-time world champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and two-time World Champion John John Florence (USA) among his opponents as he looks to qualify for Paris 2024.  The top six unqualified male surfers at this event will have the chance to make it to Paris 2024 with surfing being held at Teahupoo in Tahiti.  Butler would join our two qualified surfers in Saffi Vette (Gis) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) who qualified at the same event in 2023.

Today Stairmand fell out of rhythm with the waves in his match up and the ocean went flat leaving him requiring a low 4.84 point ride to advance.  He ultimately finished third in the heat behind Stanley Norman (GBR) and Kai Odriozola (ESP).

The ISA World Surfing Games take place from the 23rd February – 3rd March 2024 with 297 athletes from a record breaking 63 countries in attendance. 

Live action from finals day can be viewed via the link below.

For further information regarding the New Zealand Surfing Team please contact Ben Kennings at Surfing New Zealand 0212278732 or email 

Surfing New Zealand are proudly partnered by: 
Sport New Zealand
NZ Community Trust
Sun Bum



Go to Surfing New Zealand
Author: Dan Westerkamp