In just over a year Mount Maunganui's Tiana-Breeze de Mooij has transformed a goal into reality.

The 18-year-old professional surfer has been selected for the New Zealand 2018 Junior Team - with Mount Maunganui's Kehu Butler and Kea Smith - to compete at the 2018 VISSLA ISA world junior surfing championships which will be held at Huntington Beach, California this month. It's the first time she has been selected for the New Zealand travelling team.

De Mooij set her sights on making the team when she left school to pursue a career in surfing in August last year - since then she has made every moment count.

She has been hitting the World Surf League's Women's Qualifying Series, competed in up to 15 competitions in France, England, Indonesia, Australia, Florida, Hawaii, South Africa and Tahiti and worked hard to improve her craft and prove that she was a serious contender for the team.


The Nias Pro, held in Indonesia in August, was de Mooij's career highlight at that point, coming in fifth place.

It was while she was there de Mooij got the call-up for this next event, the 2018 VISSLA ISA world junior surfing championships - the largest junior event in the world - overriding that previous peak and taking the top spot. She can't wait to represent New Zealand at the competition, held between October 27 to November 4.

"I'm really excited, I've been working really hard to make this team," de Mooij says.

"I was kind of like 'Woah, it's finally happening'," she says.

She's been living out of a suitcase, she says, returning to Mount Maunganui about two weeks ago and, just like every other time, she is home, she focuses on her craft.

She spends a couple of hours in the gym working with a personal trainer, surfs every day for hours on end, at least three hours in each tide, has started coaching sessions as well. Her dad and keen surfer Pete de Mooij also helps identify areas of improvement, which she works on the next time she's in the water.

And in the lead up to the world junior champs, de Mooij says she will be looking for rough waves, doing lots of paddling and working on being more aggressive in the surf to prepare for Huntington Beach, which is the surfing capital of America.

"My expectations are just like any other competition I guess, I mean obviously I'm trying to win so it will be awesome to get on the podium."


To attend the World Junior Surfing Champs, de Mooij needs $6000 to cover travel costs including flights, accommodation, entry fees, airport transfers and food and has set up a Givealittle page to help get her there.

To help, go to

Bay surfers in the 2018 Junior Team:

Under-18 Boys Division

Kehu Butler (Mount Maunganui)

Under-18 Girls Division

Tiana–Breeze de Mooij (Mount Maunganui)

Kea Smith (Mount Maunganui)

Under-16 Boys Division

Non travelling reserve – Jack Lee (Whakatane)

Under-16 Girls Division

Non-travelling reserve – Georgia Wederell (Mount Maunganui)