Some of New Zealand's biggest names in surfing will head to Pāpāmoa this weekend for the enhanced Barrett Homes Surf Open - and Mount Maunganui's Raiha Ensor is eyeing up a win at her home competition.

The Surf Open is the second of seven events on the New Zealand Surf Series, which started with the Health 2000 National Championships in Taranaki last month.

This year's competition has added the Open Men's and Women's Divisions for the first time, adding to the longboard division.

Ensor, who is based in Hamilton while studying a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato, has entered both divisions for her first time in the event.


She hasn't entered in the past because her preference is shortboard surfing, but would love to take a win in both divisions if she can.

"I definitely don't consider myself a longboarder. I kind of only longboard maybe a couple times a year but I mean, a comp's right on my front doorstep and I know it will be good to just go out, on the longboard as well and get more time out there," Ensor says.

"I'd like to win the shortboard but longboard will still be sick to win."

The event has also attracted the recently crowned Women's Champion Aimee Brown (Great Barrier Island) in the Open Division, New Zealand representative, Pāpāmoa-based Levi Stewart and renowned surfer Maz Quinn (Gisborne) making a rare competitive appearance.

Ensor says Brown is the one to beat in the Open Women's division, but hopes hometown advantage and some luck, will work in her favour.

"Aimee Brown's been ripping heaps lately, she took out the nationals so I guess she's kind of the one to beat at the moment. All the girls rip and it's just kind of a matter of who's best on the day, and who's surfing good and makes the most of the conditions.

"You can't really control what the conditions are like, what the ocean's doing and whether there's going to be waves coming your way or not but you kind of create your own luck and try and put yourself in the right position for waves and make good tactical decisions so that you're kind of getting on the best waves rather than the worst ones, and usually if you're on the best waves you're getting the best scores."

While in Hamilton Ensor heads out to Raglan every day "to get some hours in the water", and does the same back home in the Bay, with her family having recently relocated from Mount Maunganui to Pāpāmoa.


This summer she has been trying to get into the surf as much as possible to "get the rhythm going for the comp this weekend".

"It's good to have the comp right in the front yard basically and surf some waves that i grew up surfing and know quite well.

"I've been surfing there a few times when there's been swell and this week we've had good swell there so I've had a few sessions."

Brown was shocked when she took the title in Taranaki and says she doesn't "want to put too much pressure on myself but I also want to do well" this weekend.

For the likes of Stewart and other hopeful national representatives, the Surf Open plays a pivotal part in the selection of the New Zealand Surfing Team which will compete at September's World Surfing Games in Japan.

It will also be a chance for surfers to enjoy a weekend of competition while taking in a festive event.

Barrett Homes Surf Open:

Where: Pony Club Car Park, north of Pāpāmoa Domain
When: Saturday and Sunday. Finals on Sunday.
Time: 8am-4pm daily
FYI: Participants will compete for more than $8000 in prize money with Sunday's finals action to be televised live on Sky Sport.

Open Men's Division:

Reuben Woods (Pāpāmoa)

Daniel Tingey (Mount Maunganui)

Jaco Kapp (Mount Maunganui)

Hone Douglas (Ohope)

Callum Mepsted (Mount Maunganui)

William Cooper (Mount Maunganui)

Jacob Saunders (Pāpāmoa)

Erin Saunders (Mount Maunganui)

Jono Magson (Mount Maunganui)

Mitchell Dalley (Mount Maunganui)

Levi Stewart (Waihī Beach)

Nick White (Mount Maunganui)

Cale Tolley (Mount Maunganui)

Darren Kiwi (Pāpāmoa)

Callum Chuter (Tauranga)

Alex Dive (Mount Maunganui)

Rhys Poulton (Mount Maunganui)

Leon Santorik (Mount Maunganui)

Lance Robison (Mount Maunganui)

Bucky Woods (Pāpāmoa)

Zac Curle (Waihī Beach)

Matt Hewitt (Mount Maunganui)

Jack Hinton (Mount Maunganui)

Paul Halford (Mount Maunganui)

Cam Hankins (Waihī Beach)

Reef Newdick (Te Puke)

Aryton Yarrell (Waihī Beach)

Tylee Anderson

Matt Mccann

Jarred Hancox

Jamie Andrews

Hugh Ritchie

Maz Quinn

Chris Malone

Taylor Hutchison

Paul Moretti

Nick Dunne

Daniel Farr

Zen Wallis

Ben Kennings

Dune Kennings

Caleb Cutmore

Shane Kraus

Sam Courtney

Men's Longboard Division:
Hone Douglas (Ohope)
Erin Saunders (Mount Maunganui)
Robert Counsell (Mount Maunganui)
Mau Jackson (Mount Maunganui)
Joe Stewart (Whakatane)
Paul Halford (Mount Maunganui)
Benjamin Counsell
Rhys Fitt
Michael Grendon
Bill Whelan
Shane Kraus
Garth Falconer
Nat Fitt
Thomas Kibblewhite
Jamie Andrews
Hugh Ritchie
Ray Lefeuvre
Guy Rencher
Brian Young
Paul Culpan
Zen Wallis
Michael Gray
Glen Johnson

Open Women's Division:
Georgia Wederell (Pāpāmoa)
Raiha Ensor (Mount Maunganui)
Demi-Jade Hewitt (Mount Maunganui)
Anna Brock (Mount Maunganui)
Liv Hayson
Tia Ngarimu
Billie Scott
Aimee Brown
Gabi Paul
Lily Mcdonald
Natasha Gouldsbury
Ella Williams

Women's Longboard Division:
Raiha Ensor (Mount Maunganui)
Melissa Woods (Mount Maunganui)
Ann Snyder
Shelley Jones
Louise Aitken
Gabi Paul
Josephone Moore
Sasha Brownlie