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While Ricardo Christie was in South Africa this weekend, surfing his way to a fifth place finish at the Ballito Pro elevating him ninth overall on the World Surf League World Qualifying Series, New Zealand’s next batch of surfing talent were busy participating in the second of three high performance camps being held over winter.

Based at Mount Maunganui’s Adams Centre for High Performance, the strength and conditioning and mental skills pillars took place at the facility while the strategy work and surfing was completed at Raglan.

Over twenty budding athletes were put through their paces across a range of skills and drills aimed at improving their performances while competing.  Several attendees will be putting their new-found knowledge to the test in the coming weeks with two major events being contested in Australia – the Billabong Occy for the groms and the Skullcandy Pro Junior for the ‘older groms’.

“I am really excited to see what happens for the Skullcandy Pro Junior as I did well there in the grom comp last year but it is a step up in the pro junior” said Gisborne’s Saffi Vette.

“The high performance camps have definitely made me more open minded for taking on everything from these amazing coaches and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for us” she added.

“It is not just about attending these international comps, it’s about putting in the hard yards to get to peak performance by the time I get over there” added Vette who travels to Australia this week.

She is joined by over a dozen surfers competing across the two events in the next fortnight, several of which were attending the weekend camp to build up for the events.

Raglan’s Daniel Kereopa attended the camp as a regional coach as he looks to build the next generation of surfers coming out of the Waikato.

“What I saw at the camp has been delivered in a way that has good structure and clear instructions for the kids to take away everything they learn.  As a coach it has been great because I can connect with the kids more and understand there are pains for gains” commented Kereopa.

Kereopa was joined by three regional coaches sitting in on camp to develop their coaching skills and take learnings back to their surfing communities.  This increases the skills base of our coaches so a larger pool of surfers has access to improved coaching not only at the top level but also regional development athletes.

Strength and conditioning coach Oliver Farley focussed the weekend on basics with the athletes that attended working through basic mobility exercises and muscle imbalances often found in surfers.

“It has been good working with the development athletes this weekend and being able to identify some of the issues common in surfers such as shoulder impingements, tight hips and weak glutes.  If we can identify these issues early and correct poor movement patterns, this will help with their surfing and general life” said Farley.

The surfers were guided under the instruction of three coaches, each specialising in their fields – technique and strategy, strength and conditioning and sports psychology.  Physiotherapist Kelly Powell joined the team for the second camp.

Three high performance surfing camps are being held in 2018 as New Zealand surfers prepare for the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games and World Junior Championship being held later in the year.

The camps are based out of the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance at Mount Maunganui.

The final high performance camp is being held on 25 – 26 August.

The World Surfing Games is the next major event for New Zealand teams and the event is being held in Japan from the 15 – 22 September and will include our top three males and females.

The qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been determined by the IOC and the International Surfing Association.  New Zealand surfers will be able to qualify via the WSL World Championship Tour or via the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games.  You can read about the full qualification process via the ISA website.

A total of 20 males and 20 females from around the world will compete at the Olympic Games.  Kiwi surfers that qualify via the WSL or ISA will then need to be selected by the NZOC to represent New Zealand.

The initial stages of the high performance programme were put in place after a successful application to the International Olympic Committee for Olympic Solidarity Funding in 2017.  New Zealand’s top surfers and surfing minds came together in December 2017 for the first Olympic Workshop for athletes and coaches.  Since then a working group has been hard at work putting plans in place to lift the level of the high performance structure in New Zealand.

More about our coaching team:

Matt Scorringe – The Art of Surfing Founder/Head Coach
The Art Of Surfing offers surf-specific high performance coaching for all abilities, from the recreational surfer to the pro. Specialising in technique, video analysis, equipment and competition based fundamentals

Dr Oliver Farley, strength and conditioning coach

Since completing his Masters at AUT researching the physiological aspects of surfing, Olly obtained a role at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre as lead exercise physiologist (2013-2016). During this time he completed his PhD researching surfing performance enhancement and worked with professional surfers competing on the World Championship Tour.

Jhan Gavala – Sports Psychologist

Jhan is a performance psychologist at HPSNZ. He currently holds portfolio’s with Yachting New Zealand (Olympic Development Squad and AON Fast Track Squad), Northern Mystics Netball, Canoe Racing New Zealand, New Zealand Women’s and Men’s 7’s Development Squad, and the New Zealand Black Fins. He is the Assistant Mental Skills Coach with The Blues Super Rugby Franchise, and is the Mental Skills Coach at the Auckland Rugby Union High Performance Academy. Jhan will also act as an Assistant Mental Skills Coach at the New Zealand Rugby U20’s Development Camps in 2018. He has been a practicing psychologist for 18 years.

Further Information
For further information on the training camps please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Or you can visit the Surfing New Zealand website for more information.

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