New Zealand Surfing - - Rising / Grom -

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.

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