19-Mar-2012 05:23 p.m.

Baxter claims 2012 National Title

Baxter shows world-class form at Nationals, PhotoCPL

Self-titled "SUP Ninja" Shayne Baxter claimed victory over long-time rival Daniel Kereopa at the Piha Nationals 2012 with an impressive array of high-speed radical manouevres on his carbon Starboard 8'5" x 29" Pro.

“Its pretty hard to beat Daniel.  He’s NZs best waterman at the moment and will stay that way for a long time.  He rides all different types of craft.  To come second to a pro-surfer like Daniel, there’s no shame in that!" says Shayne, who after placing second at Raglan and Sandy Bay and first at Piha, is also in a strong position for the Hyundai Tour title.

"I got one back on him at Piha and got the national title, which I’m really stoked about, but I want to keep level-headed and keep moving forward."

The 33-year-old Canterbury waterman draws on a strong martial arts background to give his surfing an edge.  Before his Christchurch home was condemned by the February 2011 Earthquake, Shayne had basically turned the front yard into a Shao-lin temple in order to condition his body to perform, while training for his coveted spot on the World Stand Up Tour.

"I think the cross-training thing is very important, if you want to get yourself up to an optimum level, looking at biomechanics and looking at your craft, every angle you can take to create that edge is important.  You’ve got to keep it fresh."

Shayne is also a Maori carver and tattooist, and was an assistant lecturer at Otago University for traditional and contemporary indigenous maori arts.  He came to stand up paddling in 2003, after growing up near the ocean, surfing shortboard, longboard and paddling waka ama (outrigger canoe).  "I think the hoe (paddle) has a great significance to being a waterman.  The origins of the paddle have come from traditional indigenous carving, so being a maori carver, surfing and doing waka ama, stand up is a great thing, and it just seems perfect for me right now.  Most people going out just see it as a piece of fibreglass, or as a sport, but for me it's much deeper because I know the origins.

"I’ve got a lot of really good surfers on stand ups and they can’t do it, and I’ve realized why they can’t do it.  Because you have to be a multi-tasker, you have to think of three things at one time; surfing, plus the paddle use, plus reading the ocean.  So the greatest thing is to be like water.  Find that serenity with water, and like Bruce Lee says, 'be like water'."

We look forward to seeing more of your progressive form this weekend at Mount Maunganui, Shayne Baxter!  

The 2012 Hyundai Tour travels to Raglan, Piha, Sandy Bay and Mount Maunganui before the season concludes at Port Waikato in early March. Overall the Hyundai Tour boasts $20,000 in prize money.

The remaining events for the 2012 Hyundai Tour follow:

Hyundai Tour Event 4, 18-19 February, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 5, 2-3 March, Port Waikato (6-star)

ENTER NOW AT Hyundai Tour 2012

 


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