BEST FOOT FORWARD: Yamba's Joel Skinner has claimed victory at the National Malibu Classic. Photo: Doug Eaton
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Yamba's Joel Skinner has claimed victory at the National Malibu Classic. Photo: Doug Eaton Jojo Newby

Skinner tops junior boys' ranks, holding out some of the best

A SURPRISE victory at the National Malibu Classic was the perfect boost for 16-year-old longboarder Joel Skinner.

Skinner triumphed in the junior boys division, beating some of the best surfers up to 18 years of age in Australia.

"I didn't expect anything and just wanted to put in a good performance," Skinner said.

"I ended up having a pretty good win."

His feat is even more remarkable considering he was just 15-years old when the competition was staged at Crescent Head in September.

"He was surfing against kids up to 18-years old and managed to beat them," Joel's father Trevor said.

Since the nationals, Skinner has maintained his winning ways, taking out his divisions at the Evans Head Malibu Classic and Woolgoolga Malibu Classic.

The victories are just the latest as Skinner continues his rise to the top in longboarding, a format he only started competing in two years ago.

He represented New South Wales in the opens category when he was just 15 and has now earned the chance to further push his claims as one of the country's best up-and-coming talents.

"From winning the nationals he's got an invite to compete at the Noosa Festival of Surfing," Trevor said. "That's in about March next year.

"It will be a lot harder than the nationals as he'll be up against some of the best in the world."

It is just the first of several big events for Skinner, who will also compete in the Australian Longboard Surfing Open at Kingscliff.

From there he will seek qualification in the state titles at Crescent Head, with a chance to compete in next year's nationals at Coffs Harbour on the line.

But if there is anyone Skinner has to beat it is his dad Trevor, who himself is a quality surfer.

"I tried to get him at Woolgoolga but that didn't work," Trevor said.

"He shot way ahead of me last year and it's just a matter of how far he wants to go."



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