DANIEL / KEREOPA
Growing up on the points of our most iconic wave in raglan, Daniel Kereopa early on in his career became a threat to anyone he surfed against even as a 14-year-old. He won the U18 National Title in 95 and 96. DK picked up a 2nd place in the U16 and a 3rd in the U18’s of the Quiksilver World Grommet Titles in Bali in the early 90’s. He competed in the Australasian Pro-Junior series making several finals placing second in a couple of events. DK then took on the WQS World Tour Circuit for a couple of years with his highest end of year ranking being 153rd, his best result was a 5th at the O'Neill Surf Challenge 4-Star at Anglet France. During the late 90’s DK began to broaden his surfing horizons and really immersed himself in the Big Wave arena as well as riding Longboards. In 2002 DK won the Quiksilver Rex Von Huben Big Wave Challenge held in the Deep South, and sticking with the big wave topic DK won the 2007 Australasian Oakley Big Wave Awards “Biggest Paddle Wave”. 2007 was also to bring more accolades for DK when he won his long awaited National Open Title and also at the same event won the senior and longboard divisions for the three-peat. DK was all the time expanding his repertoire in ocean going craft and he became a master of SUP Surfing also winning the National Championships in 2011 and 2013. In 2015 The Ultimate Waterman event was held in NZ and DK utilised his across the board skills and took out the inaugural title over many different Watersport disciplines including shortboard, longboard, SUP. In between all of this DK was a massive influence in pioneering tow surfing here in NZ from the year 2000 on and has pioneered and ridden many of the biggest waves ever seen and ridden here in NZ.
ABOVE: DK took big wave surfing to a whole new level, calm and poised on a giant. Photo: Cory