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Kiwi surfer prospers on world stage with tech partnership
Tue, 24th Jul 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb recently scored a major victory at the World Surf League Founders Cup against all odds.

Team World, consisting of surfers from smaller nations, were the underdogs going into the competition and shocked pundits and spectators by stealing the new event's original Founder's Cup trophy.

FutureFive recently had the opportunity to sit down with her to discuss the competition, her motivations, and her partnership with action camera company Kaiser Baas.

Tell us about how your recent win at the Founder's Cup competition. 

I got picked for the World team and being a little Kiwi girl, it was pretty special, and for it to be my first time at Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater's wave pool.

We were the underdogs because team Australia had the most world champions in their teams, and every other team had better surfers or at least one world title, just more accolades between them.

I think because the other teams were Australia, Brazil, America and Europe, they took quite a lot of the other small countries, so World was picking the extra small countries like Japan, Tahiti, and South Africa.

Out of all the surfers, I was one of the only people from another small country, so they kind of had to pick me.

We were pretty happy just to make the final, but then we somehow ended up winning it.

Why was winning this accomplishment meaningful for you?

Firstly, just to be a part of it, it was a historic weekend being the first event at a wave pool made by the famous Kelly Slater, and it was the first time a Kiwi has won a World event.

I've known of Kelly Slater ever since I got into surfing, he's been a pretty big idol and this year I got to talk him and hang out.

He explained the wave pool and the technology of it and we had some normal chit chat.

What was it like being part of the World team?

I hadn't really spent much time with any of them before then.

Jordy Smith from South Africa was our team captain, he's one of the best male surfers in the world, so it was pretty cool to be beside him and hear his mindset of how he does a competition.

He was really motivating and supportive and it was just great to be around those kinds of surfers.

I had a preconceived idea about how he did everything and he surprised by about how relaxed he actually was, and how strategic than what I thought he would be.

What drew you to entering a partnership with Kaiser Baas?

I've been using the Kaiser Baas products for a couple of years now and I really love the action cameras, they're a perfect fit, surfing being an action sport.

The cameras are easy to use and small enough to travel with wherever I go around the world. For a camera that's reasonably priced, I'm seriously impressed with how good the quality is.

KB's new Marketing Manager approached me about four months ago and we discussed how we could work together in a partnership.

It's only been about three months since we signed a formal partnership, and the team have been amazing to work with.

They're really customer focused and always working to improve the overall customer experience.

I like the fact they ask for feedback and are really open to new ideas on how they can develop their product further. That's a first for me.

What are your career goals as a surfer?

My biggest one at the moment is heading towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and to stay on the World Championship Tour which is only the top 17 women in the world.

This year is probably my biggest chance to qualify for the Olympics - there are a few different routes that you can go to qualify, but out of all the options, but I think this way is the easiest, so I need to stay on the World Tour for next year, so this year I'm really trying to do all the contests and get enough points to stay there.

I've got seven more contests for the remainder of the year.

At the moment I've got two good results on that, and so I'll need two or three more.

What gives you motivation?

Competition-wise, I'm super competitive, and I like the feeling of winning and always trying to improve, whether I'm competing or free surfing, I always want to be the best I can be.

Surfing is such a hard sport and there's always something that can be improved on and it's something I want to get better at, so that's always going to be a big motivator.

How do you see this partnership growing as your surfing career evolves?

I love using the action camera to capture content for myself, I like editing and making videos, which are also used by Kaiser Baas.

My plan is to get more barrels, which is the surfer term for being in the tube of the wave.

It's the ultimate surfer's view, I want to capture as many of those as I can so that when I'm old, I can keep replaying and reliving it.

Every surfer always says only a surfer knows the feeling.

It's a huge rush happens so quickly but when you're in it, it feels so slow.

It's an amazing adrenaline rush that you keep wanting more of.

Being able to replay that, it's such a good memory, you almost imagine yourself in it again if you've got that view looking out the barrel.

It's probably the closest that I can get to doing it again.

You can watch her video here: