Anna Bay surfer Jasmine Sampson eyeing Hurley BL’s Blast Off

WATER BABY: Jasmine Sampson, 14, from Anna Bay, will surf in the four-day Hurley BL’s Blast Off during the September school holidays. Pictured at Birubi Beach. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

WATER BABY: Jasmine Sampson, 14, from Anna Bay, will surf in the four-day Hurley BL’s Blast Off during the September school holidays. Pictured at Birubi Beach. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

ANNA Bay surfer Jasmine Sampson spends most of her school break on a board in the water.

So it is no surprise the 14 year old plans to do that when next week’s holiday rolls around.

But this time she is packing up the board and heading to Sydney where she will surf in the Hurley BL’s Blast Off.

The festival attracts more than 360 junior surfers, and is the biggest grom surfing event in Australia.

“I’m excited to compete,” Sampson said. “I’ve been working on getting more comp experience and getting more results.”

More competitions and results pave the way towards a professional surfing career, which Sampson aspires to.

Sampson has been surfing since she was about four years old. She surfed in her first competition in 2015, a pro junior event in Newcastle, and went through to the quarter-finals.

Sampson reached the same level at the Billabong OZ Grom Cup in April and last weekend at Kiama Surfarama she went through to the semi-final in the under-14 and 16s. 

Jasmine Sampson

Jasmine Sampson

The Blast Off event differs from others as it eases the groms into a competitive environment by putting the emphasis on coaching and advice instead of winning and losing.

Every grom gets to surf at least twice before elimination starts, and participants are given tips to improve before the next round.

Aside from hanging out with surfing star and event founder Barton Lynch, the groms will also get to meet and learn from the likes of Layne Beachley, Tom Carroll, Rabbit Bartholomew, Terry Richardson, Damien Hardman, Ozzie Wright, Richie Lovett, and upcoming surfers like Cooper Chapman.

“It’s great fun and one of my favourite weeks of the year,” Lynch said.

“I love being able to give back to the next generation of young surfers.”

After the blast off, which runs September 26 to 29, Sampson plans to take part in the Birubi Beach Surfarama and the Mattara Surf Classic in October.

“I love surfing,” Sampson said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling after you get a really good wave. You’re out there with good friends, having good times. There’s so many good vibes.”

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