ris­ing grom

New Zealand Surfing - - News -

Of­ten who you as­so­ciate with and sur­round your­self with ul­ti­mately rubs off when it comes to de­vel­op­ing as a sportsper­son, hav­ing ac­cess to in­spi­ra­tional men­tors and those that you as­pire to be like can fast track your learn­ing curve and lay the foun­da­tions that put you in get steed for the fu­ture.

When it comes to surf zones on the Coro­man­del Penin­sula the hot bed of Whanga­mata and to a slightly lesser ex­tent Tairua and Pauanui have con­tin­u­ally churned out good qual­ity surfers, a re­sult of feed­ing off gen­er­a­tions of surf ad­dicted friends and fam­ily. Yet fur­ther north on this Penin­sula de­spite a big­ger pop­u­la­tion base, the town of Whi­tianga, while boast­ing a few good lo­cal surfers over the years, none have gone on to de­velop into top tal­ents. En­ter Jay Piper-Healion born into an information gen­er­a­tion, where ev­ery facet of surf­ing across the world is avail­able at your fin­ger­tips, this has seen the devel­op­ment process change from be­com­ing a surfer be­cause your dad or cousin surfed and then in­spired by other tal­ents in the area to raise the game, to open­ing up a world of op­por­tu­nity to any­one that wants to take their surf­ing be­yond the recre­ational lo­cal fun times.

Aside from this tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment in recent times, Jay early on showed glimpses of nat­u­ral tal­ent that have been nur­tured at the Raglan Surf Academy he now at­tends and in recent years has de­vel­oped into one of the top ju­niors in the coun­try. Prov­ing that by mak­ing the Ju­nior boys fi­nal at the Na­tional Surf Champs ear­lier this year. Meet our grom on the rise!

Name : Jay Piper-Healion Age: 17 Where are you from? I'm from Whi­tianga on the Coro­man­del

How did your first surf­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

come about? When and who with? It was prob­a­bly when I was about 12 with one of my par­ents good mates Ross Lig­gins down at Buf­falo Beach.

Tell us about the lo­cal surf con­di­tions, how of­ten you get to surf and where are

your favourite lo­cal breaks? The lo­cal surf con­di­tions at home are your clas­sic East Coast; wait 3 weeks for a sur­fa­ble wave but when we get swell there's so many op­tions within 30 min drive we get good waves. In Rags, where I go to school, we get to surf ev­ery day and most of the time the surf is pump­ing. My favourite wave lo­cally would be Rua­puke be­cause it’s such a good beach break when it’s on and we have been lucky enough to get it heaps in the last year or so.

The best waves you've ever scored on

your lo­cal coast­line? The best waves I have ever scored at home was prob­a­bly Cy­clone Cook last year, ev­ery spot at home pumped and it was in the school hol­i­days so me and my mates surfed all day, ev­ery day for the whole swell. Also, Cy­clone Pam was nuts.

You’ve at­tended the Raglan Surf Academy for sev­eral years; how does this set-up help your surf­ing while at the same time

keep­ing your school­ing pri­or­ity? We get to surf mul­ti­ple times ev­ery day which im­proves your surf­ing just by it­self, then we get filmed and coached ev­ery day by Larry and Deane so we can an­a­lyse our tech­nique and on top of that we are train­ing 3 times a week. But if we aren't up to date with our school work we can't surf, we have to stay be­hind af­ter lunch while every­one else goes surf­ing in the bus and do work which sucks haha. So, we make sure we are nail­ing our school work so we don't miss out. All the teach­ers at Raglan Area are leg­ends and so help­ful with school so they make it easy to keep up.

With Raglan be­ing your base and NZ’s most con­sis­tent and fa­mous break, this puts you in touch with many of the coun­try’s best surfers as well as vis­i­tors, who lo­cally in­spires you that you see on a reg­u­lar ba­sis? I'd say the lo­cals who in­spire me the most are Billy Stair­mand, Larry Fisher, Bugsy, DK, Luke Hughes and Sid West.

Who has been the best vis­it­ing surfer you

have seen at your lo­cal breaks? Oh it prob­a­bly would have been last year me, Jack and Kaleb got to surf fun as light on­shore Indies with Chippa Wil­son and Nate Tyler which was crazy watch­ing them do the cra­zi­est punts.

What else do you get up to when not

surf­ing? Not too much haha hang with the boys and just eat and go surf­ing again if we aren't at school.

Who do you surf with most? I'd surf the most with Jack, Caleb, Mini Hutch, Con­nor, Oosh, Zayn, and Alex.

What does surf­ing mean to you? Surf­ing means ev­ery­thing, other than fam­ily and friends, surf­ing has taken over haha.

Where would you like to take your surf

ing? I just want to get as good as I can, surf as much as I can and train hard. I'd love to win com­pe­ti­tions nationally and go over­seas and com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally, do QS's and give it a good crack.

Life's high­lights? Go­ing to the academy would prob­a­bly be my life high­light at the mo­ment, it's so sick and I never would have thought I could be good mates with Taylor Hutch and Caleb Cut­more, they were like my idols. Your favourite NZ waves and why? There's so many good waves at home that are hands down my favourite, but away from home prob­a­bly Rua­puke be­cause of how good we have had it with not many peo­ple out, Stock­route Wainui, be­cause of how it breaks and how per­fect it gets, Stent Road cause it’s an epic right point and Manu Bay be­cause even though we surf it ev­ery day and it can get a lit­tle bor­ing, it has so many moods and pumps quite a lot. Favourite Surfers from NZ and Over­seas? My favourite surfers in NZ are Bobby Hansen, Billy Stair­mand, Ri­cardo, Jack Lee and my favourite surfers from over­seas would be Mick, Grif­fin, Kolohe and Jack Robin­son.

Ever surfed over­seas? And where? Nah I haven't surfed over­seas yet and can't wait to do it.

The big­gest wave you've ever surfed? I wouldn't have a clue what the big­gest one is haha not that big yet.

Your dream surf trip? Dream surf trip would be to Mex­ico to those sand bot­tom right points with a few close mates, those points look men­tal. Shoutouts to your big­gest sup­port­ers: First of all, big­gest shout out to mum and dad for ev­ery­thing, you guys are the best. Grandma, Gran and Grandy for be­ing the best grand­par­ents ever, Un­cle Jud for teach­ing me how to surf, Larry and Deane for be­ing leg­ends, Ju­lian and Tan­garoa for be­ing crack up mates, Jack for be­ing my idol and putting up with me haha, Levi for be­ing a big brother to me and in­spir­ing me. To Rach and Aza for look­ing af­ter in Rags and be­ing leg­endary host par­ents. And lastly big thanks to Cory and NZ Surf­ing Mag for hav­ing me!

Com­ing from a beach break back­ground on the East Coast Jay has fallen in love with the black sand sand­bars out West. Photo: Cory

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