Have you ever won a New Zealand National Title before?
No, so this one is really special
Any comps this year that you hope to repeat your success in?
I will be competing in as many of the SNZ short and longboard events as possible and will be trying hard to do well in them all
What are a few of your surfing goals for 2022?
I’m working hard at the moment on improving my snaps and longboarding
How does it feel to be the Junior Womens Longboard, National champion at Westport in 2022, has it sunk in yet?
It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I’m so stoked
Did you do any training coming up to the nationals, anything you did different from your normal routine?
We have had the Taranaki Grom squad training most weeks which has been really beneficial and I’ve been riding my longboard more often leading up to the Nationals
Going into the final did you feel pressure to win, were you nervous?
Not really nervous, I was having heaps of fun at the Nat’s and just enjoying the surfing, catching up with all my friends from around the country.
What was going through your head as you paddled out for the final, did you have a plan?
With the change to 9 mile, I didn’t have a really clear plan but wanted to go out the back to give myself the best chance of catching some good waves.
When the final hooter went how did you feel, did you know that you had just won a national title?
I caught a good wave right at the end of the heat but wasn’t sure I had done enough and it took quite a while for the scores to come through. When they read out the placings I was surprised and so stoked.
Anyone you would like to thank?
SNZ for organising such an epic event. Huge thanks to my sponsor Coastal Chiropractor and Beach St Surf Shop, NOXEN, Gavin Upson and The Hori who are always so supportive. Kane Rowson for organising all the training for the Grom Squad, everyone from Taranaki who were in Westport and my family. Finally, the awesome support from my club NP Surfriders.
What did you think of Westport, will you be back?
I really enjoyed surfing somewhere completely different and exploring the West Coast. I would really like to go back and compete there again sometime. Thanks to Buller Boardriders Club and the local community for hosting the event and letting us have their waves for the week.
What was your favourite thing about the Westport Nationals in 2022?
Winning the Junior Longboard title was definitely the highlight. The whole competition was so awesome, and it was so good seeing everyone and putting the rashie on again after such a long time.
Lastly, Will you be back to defend your title in 2023?
Yes, I cannot wait to see where the event will be next year and compete again.
Go to Surfing New Zealand
Author: Dan Westerkamp