A tropical holiday has played a significant role in Mount Maunganui surfer Anna Brock's biggest success.
The 13-year-old claimed the girls' under-14 Billabong Grom Series title after winning the final leg at Piha last Saturday. Due to big swells forecast for the Sunday a decision to complete the event the day before meant competitors rode 1m waves. It was there Anna capped off a consistent season, scoring 10.8 in the final to claim the title.
She won the Whangamata leg earlier this season and placed second at the Mount Maunganui event.
The win came on the back of a three-month, family surfing trip through Asia and Australia late last year. Anna, younger sister Sofia, mother Michelle and father Jamie went backpacking in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, south-east Asia and Australia, with the idea the girls would surf different locations. While the girls - Sofia being a former national primary school champ, carved up the water, Jamie and Michelle enjoyed the beaches.
Jamie says they went to places where surfing is prominent, worked with locals, coaches and surfed at coral reefs and point breaks which helped them get confident in different conditions.
Anna says the trip played a major part on her success.
"That trip helped me a lot. We were surfing all the time, in different conditions. There were some places had lots of power in the waves," Anna says.
It was the first time Anna had won the series, after claiming the Mount Maunganui leg last season.
Anna says she has also put a lot of time into the gym and with her coach, Alex Dive. A typical week can include three 6.30am gym sessions and up to a dozen sessions out in the waves.
"Consistency has been a big thing this year and I practiced 15-minute heats, so I had shorter and sharper trainings. At the Mount we have times when it is small or stormy times, I just try and get out there as much as I can."