Tom Robinson's recent selection in the 2019 New Zealand junior surfing team comes as a huge opportunity for the young Northland surfer.
It is the second time Robinson has been selected as one of four surfers in the under-16 boys' division after he represented the age-group at last year's VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship at Huntington Beach in California, United States.
The date and location for this year's competition have not yet been announced but Robinson's inclusion presents the Raglan-based surfer an opportunity for redemption after he was knocked out early in 2018's competition.
"The whole thing was a new experience and a good one," Robinson said.
"I've just needed to work on getting more focused and backing myself a lot more because those kids overseas have high profiles, which can be quite intimidating."
Robinson's results in 2019 have shown his promise at under-16 level. At the New Zealand surfing nationals in Taranaki in January, he finished second in the under-16s and fourth in the under-18s.
This came after a successful 2018 which saw Robinson reach every final of the 10 major competitions on the New Zealand surfing calendar. Now perfecting his craft daily at the Raglan Surfing Academy, he was ecstatic to have another shot on the world stage.
"I'm stoked, it was a big goal of mine this year, and I've been working hard to achieve it.
"For me, it was definitely an expectation that I put on myself, I had a good start this year, through the last couple of competitions so I thought I would get in."
In recent months, Robinson had been travelling to Australia to compete in under-18 tournaments to try out a more professional scene of surfing. While his results hadn't garnered too much attention, Robinson said the experience had been valuable.
"[Australian surfers] are a lot faster, there's more spark in their surfing and then in terms of how they approach competitions, they walk around with a lot more confidence, they are so much more focused preparing for heats.
"In New Zealand, I've always noticed we are chatting when we go out for heats and aren't as focused but before their heats, it's routine for [Australian surfers] to just shut themselves off and get right in the zone."
Making the big decision to move to the surfing school in Raglan, Robinson hoped to refine this level of professionalism so he could hit the waves as a serious contender in the 2019 world junior surfing competition.
"Being down at the academy, I can work on things a lot more and it will just be getting the confidence in myself that I can go as far as anyone.
"I want to perform for my country and by surfing every single day, I have a much higher chance of achieving my goals."