Paige Hareb

New Zealand Surfing - - Rising Grom -

When Taranaki's ranaki's Princess of surf re-qual­i­fied for her sixth year on the ASP Women's World Dream Tour to­ward the end of this year, along with her sup­port­ers and ad­mir­ers Paige H Hareb bh her­self lf b breathed th d a gi­gan­tic i ti sigh ih of f relief. li f I In what ht was h her hard­est hd t year on t tour t to date, dt to t make k the th tour t again i not t only l ce­ments t her sta­tus as our most suc­cess­ful surfer ever, it en­sures that Paige will have a shot at the pro­posed big­ger pay pack­ets that are ru­moured to be on of­fer for next years events. How­ever, this year

nearly didn’t hap­pen for Paige when in late 2012 af­ter sev­eral years of back pain she was di­ag­nosed with a kid­ney dis­or­der. An op­er­a­tion to re­move a twist in the tube meant Paige spent months feel­ing tired and phys­i­cally drained as her kid­neys re­cov­ered, then in a freak snow­board­ing ac­ci­dent she dis­lo­cated her fin­ger which smashed into five pieces. Once again surgery was needed, her sec­ond in a mat­ter of months, in­sert­ing a metal plate and six screws which now need to be re­moved due to on­go­ing pain. Through all this ad­ver­sity, which was un­be­known to the rest of the surf­ing com­mu­nity, Paige still showed up to events, put on a brave face and gave it her best. We

caught up with Paige on her suc­cess, her bat­tles and her thoughts on surf­ing the tour and be­yond.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on re-qual­i­fy­ing for another year on the Women's World Dream Tour. Yeah my sixth year next year, it's crazy, it's gone so fast! For sure it's a weight off my shoul­ders, I had a cou­ple of re­ally bad re­sults this year on both tours ( World Tour and World Qual­i­fy­ing Tour) that made me think I wasn't go­ing to qual­ify so I ac­tu­ally ap­plied for the in­jury wild­card ear­lier this year for my kid­ney and fin­ger op­er­a­tions at the end of last year, but I'm glad I didn't need to rely on that. You have al­ready had a very suc­ces­ful ca­reer yet qual­i­fy­ing for next years tour seemed all that more sweeter, is there any­thing be­hind that? I'm not that happy with the way I went this year, the start of this year seems like such a blur, to be hon­est I shouldn't have done the events at the start of the year, I should of just fo­cused on re­cov­er­ing 100%, but with only one women's in­jury wild­card and start­ing the year with a low seed it's risky. If any of the other women above me got in­jured then it would of gone straight to them and I would of been out. I heard next year is go­ing to be bet­ter in a lot of ways so that was a pretty good in­cen­tive for me to re-qual­ify. It has long been de­bated that pro­fes­sional surfers re­cieve very min­i­mal prize­money surf­ing events that risk life and limb over sev­eral days yet other sports, with next to no risk, get huge pay pack­ets, there’s ru­moured change in the pipe­line, will this hap­pen in your ca­reer? I hope so! I mean next year is ap­par­ently go­ing to be dou­ble the prize money but how big do you call big? Com­pared to women's ten­nis and golf it's still go­ing to be a sliver. You can look at it two ways, yes we do de­serve more money for some of the surf we put our bod­ies into but at the same time we all love surf­ing and it's our choice to do that too. I don't think any pro surfer can re­ally say they are just do­ing it for the love, not even Rasta (Dave Ras­tovich) or Rob Machado, the "soul" surfers of surf­ing, geez they are prob­a­bly mak­ing 10 times more than me. I def­i­nitely think next year will be one to watch with many im­prove­ments. Have you been able to make a sus­tain­able liv­ing out of be­ing a pro­fes­sional surfer at the top of the game? It seems women surfers th­ese days are bet­ter off wear­ing next to noth­ing and sell­ing an im­age and make good money from that im­age. Will we see Paige Hareb do­ing lin­gerie shoots or will you stick to

rid­ing waves? My sixth year I don't think I would be do­ing it any­more if I was los­ing money, I mean I love it and I wouldn't change it for the world but you can't keep los­ing money for­ever can you? The only one wear­ing next to noth­ing that surfs amaz­ing and is mak­ing money is Alana Blan­chard and I'm all for her for that, be­cause that's Alana, she's just be­ing her­self. How­ever there are other girls that have tried to be like Alana, have put them­selves in mags like Stab Mag for no money, hop­ing by strip­ping off that they will pick up a spon­sor. It hasn't worked, which I'm sort of happy about be­cause it's not re­ally them, some of them aren't even on the world tour and they don't de­serve it. I'm happy be­ing me and do­ing what I'm do­ing but of course I'm open to lin­gerie shoots only if it's done well and pro­fes­sional and I'm get­ting paid good money. You're only young once haha. You have led the way for women surfers of New Zealand on the world stage and have helped in­spire a new crop of girl surfers that are dom­i­nat­ing the beaches of our home shores. What do you think spawned this how does it feel that you have been their in­spi­ra­tion? I feel like the kiwi girls have al­ways been quite strong, I re­mem­ber when I first started do­ing the NZ comps and I was look­ing up to the likes of Lisa Hur­inui, Mis­cha Davis, Jess San­torik and Jess Welch. Those girls made me com­pet­i­tive and helped me get to where I am to­day. Heather Dent was a big in­spi­ra­tion for me, an Amer­i­can lady that lived in Taranaki for a long time and took surf lessons with us kids ev­ery­day af­ter pri­mary school. I then be­came big enough to surf next to her at Rocky Point. She was the first one to tell me about be­ing a pro-surfer and that I could be­come one. I know Jonette Mead was a won­der for women's surf­ing back when she al­ways used to or­ga­nize the Women's Na­tion­als at the Mount, that was my favourite con­test, she did an awe­some job for girls and women's. I think that was a big foun­da­tion for NZ women's surf­ing, I'm wor­ried now be­cause I look at NZ com­pe­ti­tions and there's maybe one per year, it's sad to see. I don't know, maybe when I have more time I can give more back to the sport and make some­thing hap­pen. I never think about in­spir­ing girls but if that's what I'm do­ing then that's cool I guess, the more girls get­ting out there and try­ing it, the bet­ter! Each year more tal­ent seems to hit the wom­ens world tour, how do you stay ahead of the pack? Are you con­stantly re-de­vel­op­ing your own tech­nique and skill base? Yeah it's get­ting tougher ev­ery year but I have ex­pe­ri­ence on my side. I give it to the young ones, they surf good but some­times they are too cocky for their own good and you see it back­fire on them. I think next year will be an even big­ger di­vider be­cause all the girls are so used to surf­ing 2ft on­shore beach breaks and yeah they can rip in that, but can they pull-in back­side at 6-8ft Fiji? Ei­ther way though, what­ever the surf is go­ing to be, I'm still try­ing to work on my tech­nique. I've just got some re­ally good boards from my shaper Wayne McKewen at Mt Woodgee, they have been so good to me, so I'm re­ally ex­cited about next year! Your in­ter­na­tional re­sults and pro­file was also the cat­a­lyst for the Women’s World Tour to hold an event in your home re­gion of Taranaki, how im­por­tant has this event been? Yeah I never though that would hap­pen, nek minute it's been here three years in a row! That wasn't re­ally me though, I have to thank TSB Bank, Ven­ture Taranaki, Surf­ing Taranaki, Craig Wil­liamson and my Dad Mike Hareb and so many peo­ple in the amaz­ing Taranaki com­mu­nity for pulling it off. I think it's great for NZ women's surf­ing and just surf­ing and New Zealand in gen­eral, it re­ally does put us on the map. The girls love com­ing here be­cause it re­ally is dif­fer­ent to ev­ery­where else we go. Un­for­tu­nately I don't think it's go­ing to be a World Tour event next year but a qual­i­fy­ing se­ries, so that's still awe­some and there will be more girls here than ever be­fore!

What goes down in Paige life in your down time be­tween each sea­sons tours? It de­pends, the first few years I had pretty cruisey down times en­joy­ing the sum­mer at home. Then two years ago all I did was train for the 'fight for life' fight I did. Last year I was in and out of hos­pi­tals and not in the wa­ter. This year on tour I re-qual­i­fied with­out re­ally train­ing that hard, be­fore I fin­ish I re­ally want to give one year 100% ef­fort so I've al­ready made a goal for it to be next year but I'm go­ing to start that ef­fort now. I've only just got home from Por­tu­gal two days ago and I'm off to Fiji for two weeks in two days to suss it out for next year, I'm in the 'pad­dle for hope' stand up pad­dle race at Auck­land Har­bour on Novem­ber the 2nd rais­ing aware­ness for re­cov­er­ing breast can­cer pa­tients. I then have an op­er­a­tion on Nov 5th to get my metal plate and screws out of my fin­ger so af­ter that I'm straight back into it, train­ing hard, surf­ing hard. If you were to look into the NZ Surf Mag crys­tal ball what do you think you might see for your­self be­yond the years of com­pet­ing on the tour? That's a tough ques­tion, I never like to look too far ahead in life, I have many ideas and dreams it's just a mat­ter if choos­ing one that's the hard part. I think when­ever I re­tire it will be hard to do and take a bit of time to get used to, so I'm not go­ing to rush into any­thing and of course I'm plan­ning to be on the tour for a long while yet! I'm think­ing of do­ing a busi­ness man­age­ment course by cor­re­spon­dence next year though. We wish you a great sum­mer, con­grat­u­la­tions once again for fly­ing the Kiwi flag on the world stage and be­com­ing one of the great sportswomen of our time. We are im­mensely proud of your achieve­ments and look for­ward to more in the fu­ture!

Paige en­joy­ing the fruits of be­ing a Pro Surfer in Fiji. Photo: Cory

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