//new tag to give link attribution window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-41543440-1', { 'link_attribution': true });

Groube Smashes Record of Youngest Event Winner, Claims Three Titles in One Day

Share this article

Pauanui surfer Lola Groube has become the youngest winner of a national surfing event winning the New Zealand Women’s Surfing Surf Festival presented by Sun Bum and Volkswagen at the age of 12.

Surfing in home waters on the Coromandel Peninsula, Groube also claimed the Under 18 and Under 16 Girls Divisions, a feat only achieved once by a Kiwi at a national surfing event.

The festival was held across the weekend at Pauanui Beach with the small surf conditions no deterrent to a friendly, fun two days of surfing, connecting, skating and witnessing the public premier of surf film Over the Undertow.

The final day of the event was touch and go with the surf decreasing further, but New Zealand’s top female surfers pushed through the conditions to bookend a great weekend.

At 12, Groube eclipses fellow finalist Grace Spiers (WGM), along with Ava Henderson and Airini Mason as the youngest winner of an NZ Surf Series event, all three girls previously winning at the age of fourteen.

In today’s final, Groube posted a 15.0 point heat total in the final, relegating Spiers to runner up after having control of the majority of the final.  An 8.5 point ride for a three turn combo on her forehand was what flipped the heat Groube’s way with two minutes remaining.

“Its pretty cool to win all three.  I’m pretty stoked, it is my best result I have ever got in the Open” exclaimed Groube.

“It was nice to have my family here today including my grandparents,” she added.

“The waves weren’t that good, pretty small but I managed to get a couple.  I waited for the first ten minutes and got one ride on my backhand then I went down the beach and a wave came to me and I got my best score,” said Groube of the limited waves on offer.

Finishing in second place was Grace Spiers who opened the final with a 7.83 point ride and then held the lead for much of the final but eventually came up short, the sleepy ocean putting an end to her challenge for the title.

Double finalists Leia Millar (Piha) and Gabi Paul (Piha) finished third and fourth respectively in the final.

Millar had been the form surfer during the event finding speed where others couldn’t in the tiny waves.  But it was hometown girl Lola Groube that used her light-weight frame to edge past Millar in the Under 18 Girls final with India Kennings (WGM) finishing in third and double finalist Sage Fritchley (Mnt) finishing in fourth.

The third win for Groube came in the Under 16 Girls where she had a high scoring battle with Alani Morse (Rag).  It was a 15.33 heat total that got Lola the win with Alani fighting back with a 7.57 point ride on her last wave but coming up short.  Sage Fritchley (Mnt) finished in third place with Kyra Wallis (Piha) finishing in fourth.

New Zealand representative Gabi Paul won the Women’s Longboard Division and with today’s waves most suited to longboarding, Paul locked in some clean nose riding to post a 14.07 point heat total for the win.  Willow McBride (Mnt) led the chasing pack with a second-place finish, Amilie Wink (Chch) placing third and Portia Onley – Kemp (Whngarei) finishing in fourth.

Grace Spiers avenged her loss in the Open Women’s Division with a win in the Over 30 Women’s Division, using her youthful years to tear past her opponents in the final with a 12.07 point heat total for the win.  Local surfer, and birthday girl, Kristen McCaw claimed a second place finish in the final ahead of Renee Ruddell (Whngrei) in third and Steph Brookes (Auck) in fourth.

While the weekend was staged around a national surfing event across several domestic series, the two days were more a chance to connect with many other female surfers from around the country and encourage participation and fun for everyone.

The event started out with a 30 plus group of surfers and spectators going through a surf mobility session thanks to Sun Bum and Flow with Grace.

The Aotearoa Women’s Surfing Association ensured that there was plenty of support for all participants.

Saturday was capped off by an all-in soft top session with over 25 surfers taking over the line up at the end of the day, sharing party waves, tandem surfing and having a blast.

The event combined with a fun skate session thanks to the crew behind Wozer Skate Mag who worked with a number of fresh skate groms who took to the skate park to learn new skills outside of the water.

The day finished the first public showing of female surf film Over the Undertow featuring Brie Bennett, Gabi Paul, Liv Haysom and Ava Henderson.  A packed-out venue of females loved the movie and Q&A with both the surfers and the producers of the movie.  The night captured the essence of the weekend and encouraged the next generation of female surfers to have fun, be positive and strive to reach their goals.

The 2024 New Zealand Women’s Surf Festival presented by Sun Bum and Volkswagen is part of the NZ Surf Series, NZ Grom Series and NZ Longboard Series.  Divisions for the event include under 14 girls, 16 girls, 18 girls, open women, over 30s women and women’s longboard.

The draw and full results from the event can be viewed at www.Liveheats.com/SurfingNewZealand.

Further Information
For further information on the 2024 NZ Women’s Surf Festival please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

Generous support from Sun Bum, Volkswagen, Yeti, Roxy, Sticky Johnson, Neon Surf, RealCOCO, Poulter Group, One Foundation, Aotearoa Women’s Surfing Association, Aotearoa Surf Film Festival, Wozer Skate and Surfing New Zealand has made this event possible.

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
Sport New Zealand
NZ Community Trust
Sun Bum



Find Upcoming Events

All upcoming national events and initiatives taking place around New Zealand

Find a Surf School

Get a lesson today. All of our approved surf schools located around New Zealand

Find a Club

Join a boardrider club and become part of the local surfing community

Register For a Course

Become an internationally accredited surf instructor

Major Partners

Community Partners

Industry Partners

Media Partners