Paige Hareb is quick to admit her return to the World Surf League Championship Tour has got off to a frustrating start.
Despite some strong performances out on the water, the 27-year-old has struggled for results. Now, at the halfway point of the season, she was yet to survive through two rounds in each of the five tournaments.
The eventual winners of the season's first two events both had to go through Hareb in the second round, while most recently in Bali, the Kiwi was matched up against event favourite Carissa Moore of Hawaii in a surf for survival.
"It definitely sucks losing every time. I feel like I can surf just as well as those girls, it's just a matter of putting it all together in the heats. It'll come," Hareb said.
"It's just making me hungrier to try and beat them this year."
After competing in the first-ever women's CT event at Keramas in Bali, Hareb will miss out on competing at Uluwatu, also in Bali, this week. After the event in Western Australia's Margaret River was called off due to shark sightings, WSL will complete it at one of the world's most consistent left-handed breaks.
For a goofy-footer (right foot forward) like Hareb, the venue is a dream competition spot on a tour that lacks in left-handed breaks.
She's not the only goofy who will miss out on a rare chance to showcase their forehand arsenal, though. Caroline Marks was also eliminated from the event in the rounds surfed in Western Australia. In the men's draw, Brazilian goofy-footers Miguel Pupo and Ian Gouveia, as well as Australian duo Adrian Buchan and Matt Wilkinson are also out.
Hareb said Wilkinson had been trying the convince the league to restart the competition now that it's moved to a left-handed break.
With the next women's CT event a month away, Hareb turns her attention to the qualifying series (QS). Sitting in 16th on the CT ladder, over 10,000 points outside the top 10, the QS could act as a lifeline for the Kiwi.
Hareb will compete in a QS6000 in Mexico before a QS3000 in South African in the coming weeks. In South Africa, she'll likely need a semifinal finish or better for it to count toward her season total.
On the QS, athletes keep their five best results for the season, with the total points earned at those event adding up to their score for the year. Currently sitting ninth on the QS ladder, a top six finish at year's end would ensure she holds her spot on the CT.
"The QS is more do or die. I'll be doing everything I can to make it happen."