By GREG WHITE
NAMBUCCA Heads surfer Heath Joske has found the going tough in the Billabong Pro?Teen Series but has no desire for things to remain that way.
"There are some hot riders on the tour this year and they don't give an inch," he said.
"Somehow, I've got to find the secret to getting into a winning position."
Joske began his second event of the circuit at Bulli Beach yesterday after surfing the Burleigh Heads opening round, last weekend.
Despite the highest scoring heat win (18.6 out of a possible 20) and the highest single wave ride (9.5 out of 10), the former Valla Beach grommet was eliminated in his Gold Coast quarter final.
"It shows how tight things are," he said.
"They always talk about consistency when you start competition surfing.
"Now I know what they mean."
But Joske is still making an impression on those who should know.
"Heath has a great look on the board," tour photographer Steve Robertson said.
"He's going to make it."
Now 17, Joske has been riding waves since he first tagged along behind his board-making dad.
"Probably started coming together when I was about 10," he remembered.
"I'd go riding with dad and then with my brother."
There was no surf club background for Joske, rather things became a natural progression to the point where the youngster now dreams of making his living from the sport.
For that reason, he's hoping his results begin an upward curve to take a slice of the $60,000 on offer in the Billabong series.
"I've got three more seasons on the junior circuit before I go into opens," Joske said.
"Competing is expensive, but Billabong do help out with travel and accommodation."
After finishing his Wollongong commitments, Joske moves on to Raglan (New Zealand), Newcastle and Bells Beach for the remainder of the tour.