surf2surf blog

Paige's Blog - Halfway Point 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - Paige Hareb - Chasing the Dream


To be knowing you’re going to have a different year, after six years doing the same thing, is quite scary and exciting all at the same time.

Last year I was knocked off the WSL World Championship Tour after six years surfing the elite competition. This meant having around 18 contests over the year and going from one to the next and feeling like that’s all you’ve ever known.

This year, surfing the WSL Qualifying Series has meant having less than half the contests, and having a whole lot more spare time to surf when and where you want, actually surf, train and hang with friends more.
It really has been a big change for me.





To tell you the truth, at the end of last year I was pretty nervous about how I would react to not having as many contests and a tight schedule. We’re only halfway through this year and I’m already tipping it as one of my best years so far. I do miss the World Tour and all the amazing breaks and places it has on tour but we go to them every year. Without sounding like a spoilt brat, it can become a bit of a grind.

That’s why this year has been so refreshing, I got to go to a new Country, China where I started my re-qualifying year well with a second place finish.

I’ve had many weeks spending my time any where between Byron Bay and Brisbane in between contests with good friends, my coach, my shaper and beating my brother at Squash haha sorry Levi!

As much as I love home, this area has definitely become my second home (for the above reasons) plus the waves are pretty consistent and the temperature there makes it much easier to get out there and be motivated.



 

This is my year to not do as many competitions. Kind of like a ‘gap’ year. Although, ironically I have found myself wanting to be in the water more.

So when I got asked to represent New Zealand at the ISA World Surfing games in Nicaragua I was wary that I was adding a (pretty draining) contest to my schedule when I didn’t need to.

Because the event had a pretty high chance of good waves, and wasn’t too far away from my next event in Mexico (QS6000 event), all these facts convinced me to go and use it as a warm up for Mexico, since I hadn’t hadn’t surfed a contest for a while.

My last time at this event was a few years ago when it was held in Peru. I ended up placing second, so I had pretty high expectations for this year.





The waves were pumping for the event, some days I would have good heats, while other days I just couldn’t get it together and find the right waves.

Consistency is key, which I wasn’t finding at Popoyo Beach, Nicaragua, and I ended up finishing eighth.

One highlight was that I did manage to score a perfect 10 point ride on my 25th birthday. I haven’t had a 10 for nearly a decade, so I was pretty happy about that.

Overall the result didn’t match my expectations, I learnt from my mistakes, and took the positives with me to Mexico.

One of the frustrating things with surf contests is that you can’t control the elements and you get what you get.

Sometimes there’s luck involved, but those elements are the same for everybody, someone has got to win the event, so it might as well be you!

Going from 6ft lefts in Nicaragua to 1ft rights in Mexico, it couldn’t be more opposite. Yes 1ft in-consistent waves suck and there were a lot of negative ladies there but I took my confidence with me and tried my hardest.

Somehow my hard work or luck kept getting me through the tricky heats and I found myself in the quarter finals. Unfortunately it came down to a turn or two and I lost by less than a point finishing 5th. Happy to get that for such hard conditions but still not happy to not go a bit further.

This is my career on the line, so every event and result is really important on the road to re-qualify.
Plus I need to earn enough prize money to get me from event to event. So right now, every heat, round and contest counts like there’s no tomorrow.





With five weeks until the next contest in Oceanside, California, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because I feel like I’m on the right track. Surfing lots, training, hanging with friends and family and enjoying these moments between contests.
Hopefully I can still sneak some snow time in this month then I’ll be ready to go again for the 6000 Supergirl Pro in Oceanside,

California! Yew! Ciao!

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