James Wood surfing to the top of national rankings
LENNOX Head surfer James Wood can add Surfer of the Series award to his list of achievements following the $15,000 Jim Beam Surftag finals on the Gold Coast.
Wood, 27 received the award after registering the highest individual heat scores from throughout the competition.
A fair effort considering it started with 32 teams of five from across Australia.
The Surfer of the Series award came into existence last year in memory of Rhondda Harrison and the work she put into the competition over the years.
"I'm definitely stoked to get it when you look at the amount of surfers involved," Wood said.
"You go into this event not wanting to let the team down and I think that helps you compete.
"Surfing is usually an individual sport so it's great to be in that team environment."
Wood was part of the Lennox-Ballina Boardriders team and has been a regular at the event in recent years.
He won the individual Boardriders Cup section of the event in 2012 when the club also won the national final in Lennox Head.
They finished third last year and achieved another big result with a second place finish behind Duranbah at the weekend.
"We were lucky to get past our semi-final so it was a pretty big result in the end," Wood said.
"Le-Ba is a strong club and we've had a good group of surfers over the years.
"We had a good support crew of about 30-40 people that came up for it too," Wood said.
Byron Bay Boardriders also made the final but were eliminated in the earlier heats.
Wood has surfed on the World Qualifying Series in recent years but won't be taking part this year.
The competition structure and financial strain has made it difficult for him to continue.
"I still love surfing and it's a sport where you can always do your own thing," he said.
"I'm just looking forward to trips away and surfing holidays."