Average waves no problem for Kibblewhite
The waves were average but the surfing was high quality at Fitzroy Beach on the weekend.
Competitors in the fourth event of the Hyundai Tour at Fitzroy Beach faced some tricky conditions but Auckland surfer Thomas Kibblewhite had no trouble negotiating the waves.
He took out the men's longboarding final while Australian Sam Suendermann won the women's final.
Kibblewhite said the half metre waves were not a problem.
''It was actually really fun, I got some nice little peelers," he said.
''I got a few small scores and just built it up.''He said he went into the event feeling nervous after having spent his summer in a Canadian winter on holiday, but was thrilled with the win.
''Straight off the snowboard onto the longboard and winning events, it has been epic.''
Suendermann, from Victoria, said her win was a great feeling after crossing the Tasman for the last three years for competitions.
She said she liked surfing in New Zealand a lot more than in Australia, but was disappointed with the waves this time.
''I really like it [Taranaki] but I think I've been a bit unfortunate and lucked out with the surf, I've seen pictures and it looks amazing.''
Surfing Taranaki executive officer Craig Williamson said the surfing trumped the quality of the waves.
''They make bad waves look good.''
Local longboarder Ant McColl finished fifth in the event, losing his lead in the tour standings to Daniel Proctor, who finished third.
It is likely Proctor and McColl will fight for the tour title at the final event at Mt Maunganui on March 1 and 2.
Paul Moretti won the Junior Longboard Division, Craig Anderson claimed his second win of the year in the Over 40 Longboard Division, Mark Hoyle took out his second win of the tour in the Over 50 Longboard Division, Daniel Kereopa won the Stand Up Paddleboard Division and Armie Armstrong took out the King of the Waves Stand Up Paddleboard Race.
Taranaki Daily News