Dune Kennings: the future of Kiwi surfing

Dune Kennings has taken the ultimate prize in New Zealand junior surfing, winning the Under 16 Boys division, and will be competing at the international final of the Quiksilver King of the Groms, in October, in France.


Maz Quinn, who grew up surfing the exact peaks that were contested, was elated to see the event run in pumping perfect 1.0m waves, Wainui Beach, Gisborne.

Kennings won the Under 16 Boys Final scoring 15.17 out of 20 points. He got off to a flying start on the hooter where he scored a 6.33 point ride. He then lucked into a long lefthander where he proceeded to smash several big turns to post an 8.83 out of a possible 10 points.

The two waves in the first five minutes of the final set up Kennings so that he could be selective and pick off the best waves from then on. Ultimately his score line did not change for the remainder of the final.

"For sure the best waves win heats and I got a quick start and worked on it from there and got bigger and better waves and it paid off in the final", said Kennings.

"I was talking to Kehu and I said left or right and he said right so I took off on the left, raced down the line and flew over that section and from there the wave opened up and I got a couple more reos in", he added of the final-high 8.83 point ride.

As the clock wound down his opponents slowly worked themselves back into contention. With five minutes remaining the pressure was on and Kennings switched to defensive mode protecting his lead until in the final minute both he and Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha) crossed paths with Paerata - Reid incurring an interference pushing him back to third place.

"Yeah, well I knew the right was predominant and it was going to peel better so I was going to always go it and he tried to go left and got the interference and I didn't", said Kennings of the close call.

"I don't know what to expect in France. Hopefully it is going to be amazing, surf against the best and watch the best basically", mused Kennings on his pending trip overseas.

Bowden continued his good run of form to finish second in the final after earlier exploding in the semifinals. Bowden finished with a 10.90 point heat score ahead of Paerata - Reid on 8.75. Triple finalist Kehu Butler (Mnt) finished fourth in the final clearly running out of energy after surfing his sixth heat of the day.

However it was Butler that claimed his second title of the day, in the DC Shoes Under 14 Boys Division. He was unstoppable in the final swinging into a wave on the starting hooter and posting an 8.0 point ride. Midway through the final he eventually took the lead and then went on to score the heat-high 8.60 point ride to extend his lead.

"It was pretty hard to get a wave some times but the barrels were pretty fun", said Butler playing down his double title.

Maz Quinn's Quiksilver King of the Groms Under 16 Boys Finals:

Dune Kennings (Whmata), 15.17,
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 10.90
Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha), 8.75
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 7.57

DC Shoes Under 14 Boys Final:

Kehu Butler (Arataki),16.60
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay) 13.33
Isaac Kettle (Tara), 10.20
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.70