Thandi Tipene is on the crest of a wave.
She has been selected to represent New Zealand at the International Surfing Association world games in Santa Catalina, Panama in May.
Thandi is one of two women in a team of eight.
Northland provided the nursery slopes and Far North beaches were a great training ground, she says.
"The waves are more gentle to learn on."
Her father Pat Durham was a great surf buddy and her parents were supportive all the way, she says.
"Northland is a special place for me, because it's my home."
Thandi was "not fearful" when she was younger, she says, and her early training in the Far North allowed her to move easily into bigger breaks. But this month's challenge relates to a different kind of balance.
Thandi comes from Wainui Bay and is now married and living in Taranaki with her husband Bachelor Tipene. Bachelor is also a member of the New Zealand team, they need to raise about $15,000 to attend the May 4 to 12 world surfing event.
The games will bring together surfers from all over the world to compete in team, open, and women's divisions. New Zealand is one out of 32 countries.
The young couple will compete against some of the world's best men and women shortboard surfers in the event, which doubles as a qualifier for an ISA China Cup invitational.
Thandi and Bachelor have impressive track records.
Thandi is the 2012 New Zealand women's national open champion and 2012 national Maori women's champion. She won the Taranaki open women's championship for four consecutive years.
Bachelor is the 2013 New Zealand senior national men's champion, a past open men's Maori champion and twice Taranaki's open champion.
Thandi is a qualified spatial designer who has worked in Australia as an interior designer and visual merchandiser. She has also spent time working for a firm of architects in Auckland.
Her business motto is Beautiful Spaces Allow for a Beautiful Life.
Check Thandi's Facebook page facebook.com/ThandiAndBachelor TipeneFundraising for Trade Me auctions or donate to their bank account TSB Bank 15 3943 0020449 26.This article was published on 18/4/13 and was from http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/bay-chronicle/8560535/Surfs-up/