//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 });

National Scholastic Surfing Championships Kick Off at Gisborne

Share this article

Aotearoa’s pinnacle surfing event for school aged surfers got off to a wet start in Gisborne Tairawhiti today with eleven regional teams kicking off their campaigns to find a champion team doe 2023.

Day one of the National Scholastic Surfing Championships was staged at Makorori Beach north of Gisborne.  The heavens unloaded all day, drenching teams as they huddled under team tents supporting their fellow team mates out in the water.  Despite the rain, a full day of surfing took place in the 1.0m – 1.5m waves that were impacted by the light onshore winds from the storm battering the East Coast of the North Island.

Defending champions Auckland got off to a flyer led by their boys.  Team captain Will Hardie was one of six surfers in action and was stoked to see his surfers perform well.

“We are off to a strong start with all the team members making it through their heats today.  The conditions today certainly suited the Piha surfers, big and messy” said Hardie.

“We are stoked to come to Gisborne as defending champions, we have a team of young shredders, heaps in the Under 14s like Zeke Pragert, Jesse Frazerhurst, Poppy Arkle and Ruby Milne joining the team this year.

The above mentioned Pragert and Frazerhurst both advanced in second place in their heats to move through to the second round.

Auckland’s girls will enter the water on day two of the event while the boys will have a day off after advancing today.

The Gisborne team encountered fluctuating fortunes with Under 18 Boys Division surfers Max Phillips and William Matthews advancing through their heats.  However, it was the younger surfers in their team that battled hard but they came up short and were relegated to the repechage rounds.

“Its awesome to be surfing the event at home” said team captain Gus Falwasser – Logan.

“The team is loving it, they get to surf their home breaks, even though it was a bit of a rough first day, I am proud of them, they are all trying their hardest, we just need some better luck tomorrow, everyone has worked hard for it and we just need the chance to prove it” said Falwasser – Logan who believes that the weather and waves are expected to improve in the coming days.

There were several standout performances throughout the day including Tai Murphy posting the day’s highest heat score of 13.75 out of a possible 20 to fire up his Bay of Plenty team.  Otago’s Alexis Owen followed suit in the Under 16 Boys Division with a 13.50 point heat total of his own to the cheers of his Otago team.  In the Under 14 Boys Division, Canterbury’s Sonny Lyons surfed a great heat late in the day scoring 13.0 points to easily advance to the second round.

We expect an increase in swell for day two with offshore winds.  The girls divisions enter the water for the first time as well as the repechage rounds for both boys and girls.  Confirmation of the event location will be made early on Tuesday morning with another full day of action taking place from 8am – 4pm.

Live scoring and full results can be seen on www.liveheats.com/surfingnz.  The final day of the event will be streamed live on the Whakaata Maori YouTube channel.

Participating teams in 2023.

Bay of Plenty
Hawkes Bay

The National Scholastic Surfing Championships has been held since 1989.  The event, which has unearthed two generations of top Kiwi talent, takes place along the Gisborne coastline from 25-29 September.

The event comprises eight age group divisions for males and females across both shortboard and longboard disciplines.  Twelve regional teams from throughout the country contest the event with eleven teams in attendance in 2023 vying for both individual titles as well as the overall team title. Auckland is the defending champion at the event having won in Taranaki in 2022.

128 surfers are participating at the event in 2023 after having qualified to represent their 12-person teams via a series of regional events held during winter months.

The 2023 National Scholastic Surfing Championships is sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand, Secondary School Sport NZ.  The event is made possible with the support of Pub Charity.  The event is supported by the New Zealand Sports Collective, Whakaata Maori, Caltex, Bayleys, Apollo Projects, Pure Athletic and NZ Carbon Farming.

For more information on the National Scholastic Surfing Championships, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Follow @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all the action from the event.


High resolution images from the event will be available to media upon request.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ


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