Thomas Kibblewhite crowned 2012 New Zealand longboard champion

March 2, 2012 | Surfing
Thomas Kibblewhite: hang ten, dude

Thomas Kibblewhite has taken the 2012 Hyundai Tour, after reaching the Semifinals of the fifth and final event of the season, held at Port Waikato, in New Zealand. He is now the best Kiwi longboarder.

The Auckland surfer from Red Beach faced the biggest storm to hit New Zealand this year. Two-metre plus waves and onshore westerly winds challenged the best wave riders of the country.

Kibblewhite simply needed to enter the water to claim the 2012 Hyundai Tour, but he put on a show surfing in the middle of the bay at Sunset Beach scoring 14.67 out of 20 points.

"It was pretty fun out there to be honest" Kibblewhite said. "I went over and surfed those rights in the middle of the bay. It was solid but there were a few that feathered out the back and allowed you to get in to them early" added Kibblewhite of the less than desirable conditions.

Kibblewhite had an idea of what he had to do at the event to claim the title but he still had that uncertainty when he exited the water, questioning officials just to make sure to clarify the fact. Upon notification the joy was clearly evident with Kibblewhite having put in a lot of effort over the past three months to achieve the feat.

It is the first title he has secured having contested the Hyundai Tour for six years. Until 2011, he was unable to win an event placing in the finals on a number of occasions. However that changed in 2011 when he won the National Championships. He backed that up with a title defence in 2012 and also won the first event of this year at Raglan.

Today, Kibblewhite's closest opponent, Matt Cockayne, faltered in the first round of the day although once Kibblewhite had entered the water he was never going to be catchable on the ratings.