Pro surf future for champ
School's almost out for Elliot Paerata-Reid.
The 17-year-old surfer will wrap up his studies and leave his Piha home for the shores of Byron Bay next month for plenty of sun and surf.
It's a new chapter for Elliot, who will become a fulltime professional in the sport.
"I'm going to spend some time with my technical coach and gym trainers to get in shape for the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series next year," he says. "Getting stronger so I can prevent injuries is my aim at the moment."
Elliot finished celebrating his success at the 2013 National Scholastic Surfing Championships at Piha on Friday. The six-day tournament saw the top secondary school surfers from the country descend on the west coast to test their skills.
But the huge waves almost put the competition in jeopardy early on.
"There were some sets coming in at 10-feet and for safety reasons the surfing had to be postponed for the younger competitors," Elliot says.
"One kid got swept out to the other side of Lion Rock."
Elliot represented the Auckland team, who eventually lost out to defending champions Bay of Plenty, their fourth title in five years.
The final day of the event was played out in wobbly 1.5m waves at the south end of Piha with the teams title effectively decided by the final few heats.
Elliot stayed consistent to bag another under-18 men's division title. "Before I went out I saw my dad and his friends on the beach," he says.
"He was stoked when I won and it's a great feeling to do it at home."
He scored 15.83 in the heats, a commanding seven points clear of fellow Piha surfer Waretini Wano.
Elliot won the final with 15 points, ahead of Bay of Plenty's Kayden Mayes who finished and Waretini in third. Liston College's Toby Dobson-Smith finished second in the under-18 bodyboard final.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you wear a lifejacket when you are on the water - no matter what vessel you are in?