Tauranga wakeboarder Darren Bishop's annual trips abroad have paid dividends with his naming in the New Zealand team to travel to the world championships in South Korea in August.
Bishop left late last week on his latest training trip to the United States where he will ride atop lakes with friends on a road trip stretching from Oklahoma City to the sport's mecca of Florida.
He is thrilled to be representing his country for the first time since he pulled on the black singlet at under-19 level in Moscow in 2005.
"I found out a couple of weeks ago but it has only just become official," said Bishop. "It's definitely helped me a lot getting that extra time on the water. I'm pretty stoked about it."
About 10 athletes will be named in the team once matters relating to funding are worked through. The sport receives little government assistance so athletes generally have to pay their own way.
"Everyone has to be willing to pay for it themselves because there isn't much funding there for it.
They always try to get funding but basically you have to be willing to front up with it yourself and anything else you get is a bonus," said Bishop.
He had already planned his itinerary for the New Zealand winter so will return home for a few weeks before travelling to the four-day competition.
"I'll be coming back for a few weeks so I can get some more money and have a bit of fun while I'm in South Korea and have a bit of a look around," he said.
"I'm going over there so may as well do a bit of sight-seeing while I'm at it."