MEREWETHER'S Ryan Callinan has gained wildcard entry into Surfest, which kicks off in Newcastle on February 18.
He will show off his skills in the round of 96 in the Burton Toyota Pro competition.
As one of Newcastle's best competitive prospects from the past decade, the 20-year-old goofy-footer is aiming to make the list of the top 100 surfers on the planet.
He is at 241 in the Association of Surfing Professional's men's world rankings.
Having almost fully recovered from two serious ankle injuries, he hopes to climb his way up.
"Sure, it's been a frustrating time and a pretty up-and-down couple of years," he said.
"I have been doing a lot of strength work on my legs and I am about 98 per cent right and I know that a lot of the strength needed after injury is mental strength."
Organisers have been inundated with entries to the Burton Toyota Open and the Hunter Ports Women's Classic and might run trials this Sunday.