The former Māori and national title holder Daniel Kereopa of Tainui is encouraging newcomers to give it a go at New Zealander's biggest gathering of Māori surfers which will take place during Labour Weekend, where they will learn many skills.
From the age of 15 the sea has been his playground. Now the pro surfing athlete wants to give back what he has learnt to the beginners of the sport.
Kereopa says, “The Māori Nationals is in Taranaki this year and the key thing is getting all the crew in the country on the one weekend.”
The Maori Nationals were first held in Taranaki in 1993 before being held in a number of regions throughout New Zealand. This year the event will be hosted by Waitara Bar Boardriders Club.
“It's an educational weekend and seeing who is the best Māori surfers and to really just feed the Aroha of surfing to each other so they can and take it, pass that on and maybe one day who entered that contest becoming a world champ.”
In Kereopa's 25 years as the pro surfer he has done it all from short board, long board and now stand-up. Kereopa has been selected in the NZ stand-up team for the ISA World Stand Up and Paddleboard Championship being held in Fiji from 12 - 20 November.
“We get to compete against all the Hawaiian's, Tahitians and American's and it is really cool because there is a mix bag of New Zealand athletes.”
The 2015 champion says the team NZ placed fourth in the World last year. This Year Kereopa they look to go one better.
“We are still fundraising to get out tickets over there. All these other teams all fully funded but the Kiwi's come in with true heart and grit to mix it with the best, we had a couple of top four finishers it was amazing.”
Kereopa also runs a surfing school in Auckland with the main to encourage future surfers in the sport.