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Surf school riding wave of popularity


Shaka   Surf Dojo 2014 1Two local surfers are working together in a new advanced surf coaching business.

Started by Mangawhai surfing and surf life saving identities Jess Costello and Tony Baker, Mangawhai Durf Dojo is open to surfers aged 5 years and upwards and provides ongoing, advanced surf coaching focusing on developing young surfers ability, strength, fitness and beach safety.

“I was approached last year by a group of keen parents wanting me to run ongoing, regular after-school surf coaching here in Mangawhai and I have been so stoked with the response,” says head coach Baker.

“Whether you want to be the next New Zealand champion or just want to get better at surfing, our goal is to help you with all aspects of your surfing.”

Baker is no stranger to the local and national surfing community, having had a successful competitive career on the NZ longboard circuit, as well as competing in regional and international events on both a shortboard and longboard. He is also a senior lifeguard at Mangawhai Heads and an active member of the Mangawhai Board Riders.

Over the last five years Baker has also been a selector, coach and team manager for the NZ junior surfing team, along with coaching and managing Northland surfing teams.

Baker has partnered in the business with close friend and fellow surfer Jess Costello.

Costello has also had success in surfing at both a local and regional level, winning the Lifeguard Longboard Nationals women's division half a dozen times over the past 10 years. She is also a founding member of the Mangawhai Board Riders and a senior lifeguard at Mangawhai.

"Jess is one of my good surfing friends and she is a true lady of the ocean," Baker says. "She has surfed all around the world, is an experienced lifeguard, and excellent teacher and she connects really well with the kids at the dojo".

Tony Baker gives the reason for the name: "To me a dojo is a place of learning, and encompasses every aspect of learning and education. Surfing is a lifelong pastime. I have been surfing since I was 6-years-old and I am still amazed by the power and energy of the ocean every time I paddle out, and there are many lessons that can be learnt through our interactions with the beach, the ocean and the people associated with it,“ he says.

Costello and Baker share over 40 years combined surfing experience, and both are excited about working with the future of the Mangawhai surfing community.

n Mangawhai Surf Dojo offers weekly after-school surf coaching at Mangawhai Heads. For more details email mangawhaisurfdojo@gmail.com to register interest.

WAVE RAVE: Kids hang loose before hitting the water. Developing junior surfers is a big focus for the Mangawhai Surf Dojo. – PHOTO/Supplied
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