Tristan Roberts: he kicked off 2018 with a bang | Photo: Jimenez/APB

Tristan Roberts and Ayaka Suzuki have taken out the 2018 Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival, at La Cupula, in Chile.

The South African bodyboarder claimed the first premium event of this year's Qualifying Event Series Tour (QEST) after defeating Portuguese charger António Cardoso in the final.

It's his second consecutive win this season. Roberts had already won the inaugural West Beach Warfare, the first official bodyboarding event of the 2018 APB World Tour.

"It hasn't settled in yet. I was gifted, tried to stay composed all event and just go big or go home. It paid off. It's crazy to be back in Chile. The support here is phenomenal," expressed Tristan Roberts.

The final got underway in tricky, wind-affect three-foot waves. Roberts picked the best waves and ended up putting Cardoso in a combo situation. What a way to start a year.

"It's definitely helped me with my confidence and showed me that I'm able to compete with the world's best. I can't wait to move on through and see what the rest of the year has for me, and take it step by step and try to enjoy it."

In the women's division, Ayaka Suzuki continues her quest to become the best female bodyboarder on the planet. The Japanese rider beat the former world champion, Alexandra Rinder.

"Last year, I got second, but I wanted to help women's bodyboarding in Japan because it is getting really low. Our situation is really bad. I worked hard to be the champion here," added Suzuki.

The next stop on the APB World Tour is the Arica Bodyboard Culture, at Ex-Isla Alacrán, in Chile. The event runs from June 4-13.

2018 Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival | Finals

1. Tristan Roberts (RSA) 15.25
2. António Cardoso (POR) 10.00

1. Ayaka Suzuki (JAP) 14.75
2. Alexandra Rinder (CNY) 13.75

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