Chris Moore says of his surf prodigy daughter Carissa: “I’m trying to raise a good human being, not a good surfer.” That goal seems to be paying off. After winning the second ASP tour event of her career on Thursday Carissa accepted the trophy, but gave the check for $15,000 to the Waitara Bar Bordriders Club. The Club provides a safe environment for more than 180 local New Zealand kids to hang out and learn about surfing and the Ocean. Staffed by volunteers, the club goes a long way towards helping kids stay out of trouble and in school. And, of course, on their boards.
Moore said that she’d fallen in love with the Wiatara kids in her short visit – “The Haka that the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club performed before the event was beautiful and they’ve really opened up their community and the waves to us,” she said. ”For this, I am very thankful.”
Jason Matthews, the club’s president and the father of a go getter young surfer himself, says the club is important to the community because it keeps kids surfing and out of trouble. ”The benefits are huge. Families think it’s incredible how much their kids [who start surfing] have changed. They’re too afraid to turn their backs on the sea in case they miss a wave. They’re too busy and too tired to get in trouble.”
After the club reopened in 2007, it focused on popular summer holiday programs. Now it has a deal set up with the Waitara High School and Manukorihi Intermediate to train talented surfers in and out of school. Matthews plans to expand and teach kids yoga and kapa haka (a traditional dance form of New Zealand’s Maori tribes).