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Kiwi surf pro Paige Hareb, one of the best in the world, living the dream

Kiwi Paige Hareb isn't just one of the best surfers in the world - she's also our first female surfer on the world tour.

Her passion for the sport began in the waves off the Taranaki coast, which is where Seven Sharp reporter Tamati Rimene-Sproat met with her to talk about living the dream.

"This is my local break. I have some good memories of coming here after school," Ms Hareb said of her Oakura home.

"It's been my life training ground."

She got her first sponsor "at 13 or 14", Ms Hareb explained.

"It was just free stickers, but I was stoked and I thought, 'Maybe I can make a career out of this.'"

In 2018, she saw a career best finish at the Maui Pro, and had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to surf Kelly Slater's man-made wave pool.

However, the 28-year-old says the dream life isn't always about empty line ups and perfect barrels.

"I have to do everything myself - I have to book accommodation, rental cars and flights.

"I definitely get sick of airports and sleeping on planes a lot of the time. I don't know how much time I’ve slept on planes."

Ms Hareb says she plays a bit of golf and takes several trips home several times a year to reset and reload.

"I live across the road now so it's pretty easy, especially in winter. It's close to a hot shower - getting weak in my old age."

But with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the horizon and another year on the dream tour in the cards, she says she's not slowing down.

"Definitely have to pinch myself. There are bad days when the surf is bad and stuff isn't going your way but it's just a bad day, not a bad life."

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At 28, she’s one of the best surfers - not only in New Zealand but in the world. Source: Seven Sharp


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