RISING STAR: JASMINE SMITH
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