Newcastle bodyboarder Hayden Cruickshank set to step up in 2020

WINNING COMBINATION: Newcastle father-and-son bodyboarders Hayden and John Cruickshank at Newcastle Beach. Picture: Simon McCarthy
WINNING COMBINATION: Newcastle father-and-son bodyboarders Hayden and John Cruickshank at Newcastle Beach. Picture: Simon McCarthy

Newcastle bodyboarding champion John Cruickshank is bracing for a major challenge close to home next year.

Cruickshank claimed the Newcastle Bodyboarding Club open title and the memorial triple crown championship this year at the age of 40.

His son, Hayden, had an equally strong 2019, winning the junior section in both series.

The 17-year-old, though, steps into the open division in 2020 and his father expects a tough time holding out the up-and-comer.

"He's into opens next year so he'll be trying to knock me out," John said.

"He had his first win against me this year and he was pretty stoked.

"It was in the semi-final of a local club comp. He got first and I got second but I ended up getting him back in the final. But Hayden has just hit a new gear this year and is powering."

John is a national and multiple state champion and winner of the 2003 Australian pro tour. He claimed the masters and opens at Forster but missed the Port Macquarie event because of work commitments.

He then won the opens title at Soldiers Beach to take out the overall men's triple crown pointscore.

Hayden was second at Forster, third at Port Macquarie and the winner at Soldiers Beach in the junior division of the triple crown series in 2019 to claim the title.

The victory gave Hayden, a former Australian under-15 champion, the prize of a rare chance to train with influential West Australian rider Ryan Hardy in Bali.

"It's a 10-day camp where you go surfing with Ryan Hardy and hone your skills, so he'll learn from the best," John said.

"Hardy is one of the best modern-day riders and technically he has all the best skill sets."

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