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by Jesse Starling

To play in a competitive sport is a must do for all people around the world. Although it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it teaches us valuable life skills that will stay with you for many years to come. Here’s a few things that competing has taught us, teamwork, patience, humbleness, sportsmanship and drive. Five things that we both use everyday, and will continue to use for the future.  

USA surfer girls

However, competitively surfing is a completely different ball park. You don’t have a team to rely on, it’s just you, your competitors and the ocean, this makes surfing one of the most unique sports in the world. The ocean at times is a scary place, sometimes it cooperates with you and other times it won’t, this is where the lesson of patience comes into play. Having patience and staying calm are the two most important aspects of competitive surfing.  Oh and of course, remember to have fun! 

Leihani Zoric aka The Mini Shakas

If you are just getting into surfing and want to start testing out the waters of competitive surfing, however, have no clue where to start, let me help you out. First things first, join your local boardriders club. Here you will find a community of like minded people who will help you progress not only in your competitive surfing, but your free surfing as well. For us this was the best decision we have ever made, we consider everyone in the North Narrabeen Boardriders Club to be family and we owe a lot of our progression to so many members who helped us with our surfing in more ways than one. 

North Narrabeen Boardriders Club logo

If you are 14 or under and want to compete in some junior comps, these are the best ones I recommend for you. The BL Blast Off, Ripcurl Gromsearches, Regional Titles and the Woolworths grom comps. It is at these four events that we made lifelong friends and the best of memories. These events were where we first started to learn valuable lessons when it comes to competitive surfing. 

Bodhi Leigh-Jones, Piper Harrison, Pacha Light, Macy Callaghan, Sophia Chapman, Millie Grieve

Let us give you some tips for competing in events. Firstly don’t be nervous, yes I know it is easier said than done however, these events are all about having fun and growing in your surfing. Secondly, get down to the beach a few heats before yours. We like to be down there at least 4 heats before we compete. Personally we like to surf the comp bank early in the morning before the events start, this is where we find out when we are competing throughout the day. However, if you’re not as much of an early riser there is always a heat draw online to check out to find this information. Lastly, if you get knocked out of your heat, go to the judges (who are all lovely by the way) and ask them where you can improve, this way you are hearing straight from the surfing judges about what they are looking for, take their advice and apply it in your next competition. 

Samantha Sibley competing

As i said earlier, having fun is the most important part. Learn to love all aspects of the sport and you’ll be unstoppable no matter what the outcome. I hope this helps all you girls out there hoping to get into competitive surfing. Can’t wait to see you in the water. 



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