New Zealand Bodyboard Titles 

The 2008 NMD/Mountain Dew Gissy Pro was all wrapped up on Saturday 25th October 2008 after a solid 12 hour day of competition that finished just before dark.  Competition took place on Wainui Beach at the well known Chalets break.  Competitors surfed in changing conditions throughout the day in workable 2-4 ft waves with some good sections with potential for some great high scoring waves.

Kicking off the day right on 8am was the Da Fin Amateur round One. There was some excellent riding from these competitors with some great combo's going down.  Current amateur BBSNZ Tour leader Aran Naismith progressed through the first round along with his rival Navare Taylor.  Surfing in his first competition in NZ Alistair Scott surfed well to make his way through the first round.

Next up was the first round of the Seventhwave Under 18's.  Things were looking good with the waves now starting to show some better form.  Mitch Tombleson surfed solidly to easily progress through to the next heat, as did current Under 18 BBSNZ tour leader Luke Elliot.  It was good to see some new faces in this division with Opunake's Andrew Corkill surfing a well constructed first heat to also progress through to the next round. 

With the conditions getting increasingly better with light winds the first round of the Mountain Dew Open Men kicked into action.  It was a solid field of competitors from all around the country which paved the way for some amazing bodyboarding.  The tone was set early on in the day with some huge powerful inverts, setting the standard of what was expected for the last event of the 2008 BBSNZ tour.   All the tour front runners progressed through to the second round, with Ben McKinnon, Floyd Smith, Richard McKenna and Duncan Smith still all within reach of the 2008 BBSNZ Tour Championship.  The light winds kept swinging back and forth throughout the day with some high performance bodyboarding going down in the ever changing and sometimes tricky conditions. 

Next to surf was the first round of NMD Drop Knee with some fast powerful dropknee riding taking place.  Sam Peters and Duncan Smith were basically neck and neck on tour rating points leading into this event.  Both easily progressed through the first round heats making some solid floaters and powerful turns to progress through. 

The 2nd round of the Mountain Dew Open Men's commenced just after lunch with some extremely stacked heats lining up.  Dylan Russ was unfortunate and did not progress after making the trip up from Christchurch.  The most stacked heat of the second round between Ben McKinnon, Richard Mckenna and Mitch Tombleson was a tight one with the apprentice Tombleson having to settle for third against the two more experienced competitors.

The NMD Dropknee Semis were next to hit the water with some amazing riding taking place given the now very wind affected conditions.  There was one huge upset in this round however with tour frontrunner Duncan Smith dipping out in his heat after not getting the waves he required on the more fickle right hand bank.  With this result locked in and Sam Peters progressing to the Final the pressure was on Sam to finish first in the NMD Dropknee final and take out the 2008 BBSNZ Dropknee Tour championship.

The Mountain Dew Open Men's Semis were a very interesting affair with two extremely stacked semi finals.  Floyd Smith pulled out the wave of the contest with a solid tweaked invert on a set wave late in the heat to secure his place in the Final and lay down the challenge to the rest of the finalists.  Luke Elliot continued his hot form and put in a solid effort to place second in the same heat.  Reuben Quirk and Duncan Smith dipped out and were heading home early with only a three point split between 2nd and 4th in semi one.  Sam Peters and Alex Elder were the next two to dip out with only 0.1 between them in 3rd and 4th place.  Ben McKinnon dominated the heat with two great high scoring waves and Richard McKenna followed up in second place following his tight, consistent surfing throughout the day.  So the stage was set in the final and was down to two.  Whoever placed the highest out of Floyd Smith and Ben McKinnon would be the 2008 NMD/Mountain Dew BBSNZ Open Men's Tour Champion.

By the time the Finals started it was knocking on 6pm and the sunlight was quickly dwindling.  With a nasty southerly front forecasted to come through the following day the call was made to kick on through and finish off the finals as the wind had started to drop and turn a light offshore.  The Seventhwave U18 division and this would be the first of 3 finals for an in form Luke Elliot.  Luke started strongly from the beginning of the final with some great powerful combos and fast surfing.  He had fellow Mount Maunganui Seventhwave U18 rider Mitchell Tombleson hot on his heels however with Mitchell surfing with his usual raw, aggressive power.  Andrew Corkill never really got into his rhythm after turning up late to his final, a costly move from the young competitor.  Aran Naismith had surfed well throughout the day to make the Da Fin Amateur and Seventhwave U18 finals but was unable to get 2 strong scoring waves to make any impact on the red hot pair of Tombleson and Elliot.  It was  close final but was won out in the end by the rider that had more riding on it, Luke Elliot, who took the 2008 NMD/Mountain Dew Gissy Pro Seventhwave U18 title and with it the 2008 BBSNZ U18 Tour title. Mitchell Tombleson finished a very respectable second.

In the now clean and calm conditions the Da Fin Amateur division went to it with another tour championship on the line.  Aran Naismith opened up his account early with a strong combo wave to push out in to the lead.  Aran's closest rival in the title race was Navare Taylor.  Unfortunately Navare was unable to get in to his work in the final and ended up in 4th.  Alistair Scott surfed well in his first final and finished a credible 3rd.  Aran Naismith was unable to really get a second high scoring wave and dipped out on the 1st position but had picked up the 2008 BBSNZ Amateur Tour title.  It was a fast finishing Ryan Davidson that took the title out with some excellent strong surfing with some great power combos in the final.  Ryan was stoked with the win and vowed to be back to defend his title in 2009!


With so much riding on the NMD Dropknee final this was going to be a great battle between these 4 guys.  Luke Elliot and Reuben Quirk opted for the bank out to the right hand side with Peters and McKenna sitting on the more inconsistent peak to the right.  It was obvious from the outset that this was going to be critical in the context of the final.  Elliot and Quirk both got a string of good waves under their belts and both pushed out in to the front two positions.  Reuben got a second powerful wave and took control of the final.  Both Richard McKenna and Sam Peters were really unfortunate in the final and only managed to get 3 small waves each which didn't offer up much in the way of a workable face or sections to hit.  In a huge upset Sam Peters finished up in 4th place and in doing so handed the 2008 BBSNZ Dropknee Tour title to Duncan Smith who had bowed out earlier in the day.  Richard McKenna finish in 3rd and in the upset of the day Luke Elliot charged in to second place with some solid DK riding and some smooth turns and floaters.  Local boy Reuben Quirk surfed a well constructed final and did all he needed to take the win.  It was his first competition of the year for ex NZ Team Representative Quirk and he was elated to take the win on his home turf.

The Open Women's division was a straight final and the girls surfed like they meant it.  Mihi Wells made it down to the event after only arriving back from the world surfing games in Portugal days earlier.  Mihi surfed an amazing final with some massive looping rolls on the outside section and also a smooth ride on one of the biggest sets to come through all day.  She raced out to a massive lead that would be hard for the other girls to chase down.  Poppy Chapman got some good long waves but was unable to get the sections required to pull out some powerful boosts and make her mark on the heat.  Eiko Yoshimura got 2 good waves including one hacking reverse under the lip but it was never enough to catch a red hot Mihi Wells who took the win and with it her 4th win of the year and the 2008 BBSNZ Women's Tour title.

The Mountain Dew Open Men took to the water with the sun just about to set behind the hills.  There was still more than enough light for the riders to get in some excellent waves and it was a final of some extreme contrasts.  It started with a hiss and a roar with all of the finalists getting some excellent waves.  There were massive tweaked inverts being thrown down left, right and centre with Ben McKinnon and Floyd Smith making the best of the opening exchanges.  The first 12 minutes had sets pouring in with more excellent waves being ridden.  The level had well and truly been stepped up with rolls and spins going out the door and being traded in for big tweaked inverts and the occasional ARS for good measure.  McKinnon backed up his earlier wave with another solid wave.  Richard McKenna surfed really well but didn't luck in to two of the bigger set waves and as time wound down and the ocean decided to basically go to sleep for the last 8 minutes of the heat, Richard had to settle for 4th.  Luke Elliot was physically drained after surfing three finals and over 10 heats throughout the day and came home in 3rd.  So it was down to two.  The two top placed riders on 2008 NMD/Mountain Dew BBSNZ Tour.  Two guys who had pushed each other all the way throughout the year and especially in this last competition of 2008.  In the end it was the bigger, more tweaked inverts on the bigger waves that secured the win and the 2008 BBSNZ Open Men's Tour title for Ben McKinnon.  Floyd surfed amazingly throughout the day and had a solid year but had to settle for second overall.  Ben McKinnon was over the moon with the result and happy that he was able to get over the line in the last event of the year in the last heat of the year.  It was a well deserved win for the man currently residing in the Deep South and a fitting final to what has been an excellent year on the 2008 NMD/Mountain Dew BBSNZ Tour.


Final Results

Mountain Dew Open Men 
1st - Ben McKinnon (Dunedin)           
2nd - Floyd Smith (Piha)               
3rd - Luke Elliot (Mt Maunganui)           
4th - Richard McKenna (Wellington)

NMD Dropknee
1st - Reuben Quirk (Gisborne)
2nd - Luke Elliot (Mt Maunganui)
3rd - Richard McKenna (Wellington)
4th - Sam Peters (Wellington)   

SeventhWave Under 18          
1st - Luke Elliot (Mt Maunganui)           
2nd - Mitchell Tombleson (Mt Maunganui)       
3rd - Aran Naismith (Auckland)           
4th - Andrew Corkill (Opunake)           

Women
1st - Mihi Wells (Otara)
2nd - Eiko Yoshimura (Raglan)
3rd - Poppy Chapman

Da Fin Amateurs
1st - Ryan Davidson (Mt Maunganui)
2nd - Aran Naismith (Auckland)
3rd - Alistair Scott (Mt Maunganui)
4th - Navare Taylor (Mt Maunganui)


SOURCE: Isolated