Every beach has its characters, those cheeky groms that are always up to harmless mischief, keeping themselves and their mates entertained. Hanging out as young groms, feeding off each other, spending all day in the water and the non-surf days pulling pranks, builds great bonds amongst mates that will last a lifetime. By pushing each other in all aspects of life they grow together and rise to new heights. It has been a while since the surf town of Gisborne has had a bunch of groms running amuck in the lineups and on the beaches. Meet 15 year old Finn Johnson who along with several other local groms they are taking Gizzy surfing into the future.
Where you from? I’m from Gisborne and attend Campion College Tell us about your first surfing experience? I think it was when I was about 5 surfing Northern Makorori with my brother and dad, but I have another good experience getting my first ever green face out the back at Anaura Bay with my family. Your old boy was a top kiwi surfer back in the day, and he still rips, plus your older brother knows how to shred, how was it growing up with these family members to push you
along? It was good mate, it made me a lot better because I always want to be better than my brother. Dad has also been a big help from when I was young taking me to the beach everyday where ever I want like Northerns, Roberts and Whales heaps, until we moved to Stock Route now I only surf with Munz ahaha. Tell us about the local surf conditions, how often you get to surf and where are your favourite local breaks? Wainui beach always has a good wave basically every day, mainly Stock Route, I surf as much as I can and now that I live down the stock route end I can have early morning surfs with Manawa and then his dad takes us to school. The best waves you've ever scored on your local coastline? 3ft closeouts at Stock Route with Munz Gizzy’s name breaks have traditionally been guarded by localised gangs of surfers, such as The Stock Route Mafia, TSOL ( Town Surf Outlaws) Okitu Assasins. Does any of that still go on? And who are you aligned with? I never grew up surfing Stockies but I guess I align with SRM because I like to spend my time there and everyone hangs out and has beers in the carpark. Now and then I get some grief from MMF for not being a part of it hahaha. Gizzy is home to some of the most talented surfers to ever come out of NZ, who locally inspires or encourages you and why? Manawa Ruru inspires me to surf big waves cause I’m a pussy and Bobby Hansen because of his backhand attack and he’s a good guy . Who has been the best visiting surfer you have seen at your local breaks? Bugsy Malone and Josef Jungwirth. What else do you get up to when not surfing? Hang with the Mrs, and on the odd occasion see Munz. Who do you surf with most? Not Kobe Johnson because he surfs once a month, but mainly Manawa Ruru. What does surfing mean to you? Really fun thing to do and I enjoy it which is a good thing because I find a lot of things boring Where would you like to take your surfing? To be a paid free surfer but I have to nail comps to get my name out there first. Life's highlights? Winning the Billabong Grom Series in the Mount. Your favourite NZ waves and why? I love Stock Route because of how good and punchy the waves are. They are a lot better than everywhere else and I enjoy them a lot more. Favourite Surfers from NZ and Overseas? Bobby Hansen, Johnny Hicks and Julian Wilson. ALSO Chaydee RPJ Pineaha. Ever surfed overseas? and where? Yep I’ve surfed a lot of places on the Sunshine Coast such as Noosa and Coolum, but I mainly surf in the Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks when I’m there and My Mum and her Husband Rob always drive me there which is a good help.
Your dream surf trip? A trip to Macaronis with my brothers Manawa, Kobe and Kahutia Ruru and my Dad. Shout outs to your biggest supporters: Manawa Ruru, Lukewibley aka Riaki Ruru, Tommy dalton at STD surfboards (best boards),My brother Kobe, My Dad for buying me everything and taking me everywhere , Kahutia Ruru , Simone and Ian Ruru for always letting me stay and helping me out, Rob and my Mum for Always driving me to surf when I’m in Australia. But mainly my biggest supporter Boi Boi Mr Ku president junior Ruru for being a loving man.