RIS­ING STAR: JAS­MINE SMITH

Curl - - Surfaid -

For 16 year old, Jas­mine Smith, 2013 has been a year of suc­cesses. Jas­mine took out the NZ U18 women’s ti­tle and has won ev­ery U16 event she has com­peted in this year. She also won the Mount Pro Ju­nior and the Ripcurl Ju­nior in Raglan to win her­self a trip to Bells Beach in Aus­tralia.

Her ef­forts did not go un­no­ticed and she was se­lected for the NZ team to go to Nicaragua for the ISA World Ju­niors where she ended up 8th in the world in the Un­der 16 girls.

Jas­mine is also an avid surf lifesaver and com­petes in the board pad­dling dis­ci­pline. This year she also made the NZ surf life­sav­ing team to travel to Ja­pan as part of the NZ Un­der 20 squad which raced against all the Open teams: a fairly mon­u­men­tal achieve­ment for the 16 year old to be in a team with ath­letes such as Lisa Car­ring­ton and other Olympians. She re­turned from this ex­pe­ri­ence with her eyes opened to the life of pro­fes­sional ath­letes.

We caught up with Jas­mine to re­flect on her in­cred­i­ble year and to see what 2014 has in store...

I am grow­ing up in Gis­borne. I live in Wainui about a min­utes walk from the beach and about a 5 min­utes walk from stock route where my­self, my cousin and my fam­ily spend most of our week­ends. My dad (Gary) is a keen surfer and pad­dler and is al­ways out surf­ing and hog­ging all the waves, my mum (Chrissie) can’t han­dle the cold wa­ter so she is al­ways hang­ing out on the beach video­ing us. My sis­ters (Stella and Ava) surf as well and are al­ways out surf­ing, swim­ming, and play­ing and my cousin (Abby) should prob­a­bly get a men­tion as well see­ing she pretty much lives at our house and we surf and train to­gether ev­ery sin­gle day. Abby and I were re­ally keen surf life­savers, we spent ev­ery week­end play­ing on the foamys and hang­ing out at the surf club, I think dad would of­ten ask us to come surf­ing with him but we weren’t re­ally in­ter­ested. I ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber Abby and I walk­ing home one day say­ing “surf­ing’s just not our thing.” It wasn’t un­til around the age of 11 and 12 we started to get into it. Wainui Beach is known for hav­ing con­sis­tent qual­ity waves, es­pe­cially in winter, al­most ev­ery day of the year there will be some form of wave to ride. It is the per­fect train­ing ground to be­com­ing a good surfer. Also be­ing in the wa­ter surf­ing with surfers like Ric­cardo, Johnny, Bobby, Maz, Steve Roberts, Blair, Dam­mon Gun­ness, Brent Rasby, the list goes on and on... Watch­ing these guys surf ev­ery day in­spired and still re­ally in­spires me and mo­ti­vates me to push my own surf­ing. There are so many good surfers in Gis­borne and they are all very hum­ble peo­ple. I have learnt so much from them and I thank them, es­pe­cially Steve for giv­ing tips and ad­vice when I am out surf­ing.

I’m very lucky be­cause both sports ben­e­fit each other. Surf life­sav­ing has made me con­fi­dent in big­ger surf and be­cause I train and race in large groups rather than with 3 other girls it has made me com­pet­i­tive. It also keeps me fit for surf­ing and strong when pad­dling. The big­gest thing I learnt from surf­ing that has al­ways helped in my Board pad­dling is the fact that I spend most of my time in the ocean, so I am al­ways as­sess­ing the con­di­tions and know when and where to pad­dle out, and how to use waves to come in.

I am cur­rently train­ing 3 times a week on a pad­dle board with my sur­f­club and coach Dion Wil­liams, al­though the train­ings will in­crease when we get closer into the sea­son. I surf ev­ery day apart from when I’m surf club train­ing. Once ex­ams are fin­ished I will be get­ting stuck into more run­ning, long ocean pad­dling, and Ply­o­met­rics train­ing for both surf­ing and surf life­sav­ing.

Well I went to the WCT in 2010 and 2011. I missed 2012 and 2013 be­cause I

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