Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb has ended a decade-long title drought on the World Surf League qualifying series, winning the White Buffalo Hyuga Pro in Japan.

The form surfer of the competition, Hareb didn't let up in the final against Australian Isabella Nichols and posted two solid scores in the latter stages of the final to claim the crown.

The 28-year-old's last win on the qualifying series came at Margaret River in Western Australia in 2008.

With the result, Hareb collects 3000 points toward her season tally which moves her to third on the leaderboard with just one major event remaining - a 6000-point contest at Birubi Beach in New South Wales.


"It's been a few years since my last win," Hareb told the Herald.

"It's definitely taken the stress factor off a little bit. This time last year was pretty nerve-wracking, so I think it'll be a little bit different at Birubi this time."

Progressing through to finals day on Sunday, Hareb had to surf through four heats before being crowned champion. As well as taking out the title, she claimed the highest single wave score (9.33) and highest heat total (17.50) of the competition.

The demanding schedule took its toll though as the aches and fatigue started to hit soon after the competition ended.

"I'm feeling a little bit old at the moment. That's the most heats I've done in quite a while in one day."

While it's her first win on the QS in 10 years, she was part of the Team World quintet who took out the inaugural Founder's Cup team competition at the Surf Ranch earlier this year.

Sitting in the top three bodes well for her chances to regain her spot on the Championship Tour for 2019, with the top six QS athletes gaining automatic qualification for the CT.

In 2017, Hareb finished the QS season in ninth place, which was good enough for her to claim the last remaining promotion spot to the Championship Tour thanks to three athletes above her also requalifying with a top-10 finish on the World Tour that year.

However, heading into the contest at Birubi Beach in November, Hareb will be well positioned to lock down her ticket to next year's tour.

"My goal this year was to requalify and stay on the tour. Last year I was the last spot to qualify which gave me a bad seeding for this year on the tour, so the goal was to try to finish higher in the rankings, so I'm happy that I've moved up into third spot."

Women's qualifying series top six after the White Buffalo Hyuga Pro
1. Caroline Marks (USA) - 20,700 points
2. Coco Ho (Hawaii) - 18,650
3. Paige Hareb (New Zealand) - 13,800
4. Nikki van Dijk (Australia) - 13,550
5. Silvana Lima (Brazil) - 13,180
6. Bronte Macaulay (Australia) - 12,900