Māori surf their way to success at NZ Surfing Nationals

Three Māori have surfed their way to success in the finals at the NZ Surfing Nationals held at Auckland's Piha Beach. They hope their performance will earn them a selection in the NZ team heading to the world comps this year.

Competitors took to 2.0m swells in the finals of the Nationals and Chris Malone took advantage, surfing to a combined 14 point win in the Over 28 Mens.

Chris Malone - Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki says, “I was real relaxed when I went out there and I was trying to get the ones on the inside, not so much out the back. I went out the back first and it got me on a roll. Once I was on a roll I felt alright.”

Not long after, Malone surfed to another win in the Over 35 Men’s taking it out with an 16.67 combined ride. Malone says his secret is simple, keeping good health.

Malone says, “Heaps of kai, heaps of good healthy kai and going to bed early and yeah nah that's been it being relaxed pretty much.”

In the U18s, surfing siblings Elin and Jonas Tawharu took to the waves. Despite placing second in the U18 Women’s, Elin says she remains hopeful for a team NZ reselection.

Elin Tawharu - Ngāti Raukawa says, “I'm pretty happy, would have liked to have won but seconds pretty good. I mean it’s pretty fun waves and I got one good ride, just needed a backup.”

Meanwhile brother Jonas surfed his way to first place in the U18 Men’s taking out competition favourite Elliot Brown.

Jonas Tawharu - Ngāti Raukawa says, “Me and Elliot are pretty good mates, he pit me last year in Dunedin so I was real pumped to get out there again. But nah yeah it was good to beat him.”

The surfers now prepare for the Billabong Grom Series in Mt Maunganui at the end of the month.