By GREG WHITE
WHEN Jess Kelly goes in search of waves her usual companion is her trusty malibu board.
What's strange about that is Jess is still 15 years old and the board is almost three times taller than she is.
"I still get out there on a short board," she laughed, "but for some reason I feel comfortable on the 'mal' and we've had some success together."
Jess was first introduced to the malibu on a camping excursion.
"I got to stay at Point Plomer and found they had a malibu club there, so I thought I'd best give riding one a go," she said.
"After starting in around a dozen competitions I began making finals, eventually winning a couple earlier this year."
Jess arrived in Scotts Head last month for the Loggerheads Malibu Classic for under 18 girls and ended up winning.
"That was a huge thrill," she said.
"I went to the tournament just hoping for some good waves, get some experience and have fun and ended up winning.
"The result can now open up the doors to better class competitions."
After finishing third in the State titles at Bonny Hills, Jess is waiting for her invitation to compete at the Soul Australian Longboard titles to be held in Port Macquarie during October.
"Getting into that tournament would be the ultimate," Jess said.
To prepare, Jess will ride in the Evans Head Longboard Invitational from September 28 where she'll get valuable practice against many of the competitors she'll face at national level.
"I'm getting really keen about this and can't wait for it to happen," she said.