Board aces to battle in Taranaki surf

02:00, Nov 20 2012
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Craig Williamson competes in a longboarding event at Fitzroy Beach.

New Zealand's best longboarders will descend on Taranaki in February when the 2013 Hyundai Tour comes to Fitzroy Beach for the first time in its eight-year history.

Fitzroy Beach has been chosen as one of five stops on the 2013 Hyundai Tour - New Zealand's national longboarding competition. The tour will crown the best longboard and standup paddleboard surfers in New Zealand.

Fitzroy Beach will host the fourth stop on the tour on February 15 and 16.

The tour begins in early January at Manu Bay, Raglan, before heading to Piha, followed by Sandy Bay, then Fitzroy Beach and ending in Mt Maunganui.

Surfing Taranaki chief executive Craig Williamson said having the tour in New Plymouth was good news for the region's surfers.

"It's pretty exciting for the longboarders of the region and the surfing enthusiasts," Mr Williamson said. Fitzroy Beach was a great beach for spectators to watch surfing, he said.


The competition would provide spectators with a surfing display not seen in the region for some time.

"Taranaki people might not have seen anything like this before so it will be a spectacle."

The surfing style would include traditional moves such as hang fives as well as modern power moves, he said.

Taranaki could produce a handful of longboarders who could shake up the competition, he said.

Categories for the event include open men and women, over-40, over-50 and under-18 men.

There would also be a short distance standup paddleboarding race and possibly a longer 15km downwind race, Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings said.

Taranaki is home to top Hyundai Tour competitors including 2010 tour champion Dylan Barnfield and winner of the Mt Maunganui leg of the 2012 tour Ant McColl.

Taranaki Daily News