EXTRA training with his coach to improve his cutbacks has proven its worth when Lennox surfer Jai Glinderman won the Under-14 division at the Havaianas NSW Grommet State Titles in Sydney on the weekend.
The 13-year-old who flew back from Sydney on Monday afternoon, said he was thrilled with his win.
"I felt really happy but i did not really expect to win when I went there,” he said with a grin.
"I was coming fourth in my round two and in 60 seconds I got the score to move up to first and won the heat.”
The natural-footer who belongs to the Le Ba Boardriders, managed to convert the punchy left-hander surf to nailing a some impressive backside snaps to post a 15.5 two-wave heat total and take the final ahead of fellow north coast native and schoolmate Touma Cameron of Byron Bay.
Jai said in the final heat his first wave scored him a 7.17.
"We were out there and I was sitting on the inside and got the first wave,” he said.
The first day of competition was held at Maroubra, but due to the second day of hazardous conditions, the competition shifted south to Malabar where surfer ripped in two-foot left-handers.
"It was offshore and six to eight foot so they moved the event,” Jai said.
In his preparation for the competition, Jai said his coach Mick Cain had him concentrate on his cutbacks and videoed his training so they could go over his progress.
"I pretty much surf in the afternoons after school and Mick comes down and helps me,” he said.
"To get to the state titles, I had to compete at the regional title in Lennox, it was good to have local knowledge.”
Now he joins the other finalists who have qualified for the upcoming Surf Dive N Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles, which takes place in Culburra on the NSW South Coast in November/December.
Jai who started surfing seriously when he was nine, said his weapon of choice is 4'11.5” Warner thruster.
"Next I'm hoping to surf in the Rip Curl Gromsearch at Jan Juc,” he said.
Jai reckons he'll need his warmest steamer to surf in the chilly surf on Victoria's south-west coast in September.
"Before then I need to get two good results to make the Rip Curl national final at Narrabeen where I used to live,” he said.
But for now, he's looking forward to getting out in the Lennox waves.
"I'm having the day off tomorrow (Tuesday) for recovery,” he said.
Results Havaianas NSW Grommet State Titles
1 - Jai Glinderman (Lennox Head)
2 - Touma Cameron (Byron Bay)
3 - Jarvis Earle (Cronulla)
4 - Kalani Van Der Polder (Cronulla)
1 - Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon)
2 - Charlize Everitt (Boomerang Beach)
3 - Gabi Spake (Collaroy)
4 - Oceanna Rogers (Shell Cove)