Shell Cove surfer Oceanna Rogers prepares for her big break

She places both hands on her trusty board and sits poised at the top of a wave.

The sun is beaming down on Oceanna Rogers and the Shell Cove teen is out surfing with dad Brett - this is where she feels most comfortable.

"I wouldn't say it's quiet because there's always waves crashing and you can hear people talking," she said.

"But when you're out in the water, sometimes you just look at the next wave coming through and it goes all silent because you're so focused on that wave coming. It feels like home, it's beautiful.

"I surf both mornings and afternoons, sometimes three times a day. It's just really fun and every single wave is different. The surf's always different, there's something new to surf on every day."

Oceanna Rogers loves to surf "every morning and afternoon, sometimes three times a day". Picture: Sylvia Liber

Oceanna Rogers loves to surf "every morning and afternoon, sometimes three times a day". Picture: Sylvia Liber

Brett played a key role in getting Oceanna into the sport. Boasting more than 40 years of surf experience, he introduced his daughter to surfing when she was five.

"Dad was my surfboard shaper so he got me into it all," Oceanna said.

"I gave up for three years but came back at eight. I had done dancing but then I just told Mum that 'I don't want to do this anymore'. So I went to beach and it felt good because there was a bit of swell.

"Catching my first wave after three years, it was good."

The surf's always different, there's something new to surf on every day.

Oceanna Rogers

Now 15, the pint-sized goofy footer is on track to becoming a professional.

She grabbed attention with a win at the Illawarra regional surfing titles last year and backed up that effort with a fifth placing in the under-16s class at the 2019 Australian Surfing Titles.

Oceanna has also started 2020 on a high note, finishing second in the U/16s category at this month's Rip Curl GromSearch National Final at Woonona Beach.

And the Warilla High student has some big goals left to achieve this year.

"I've got the Cadet Cup at Newcastle and then the regional titles in May. If I get a first there, I'll hopefully move up to state," Oceanna said.

"I have to get a top seven at state and then I'll get to go to the Australian Surf Titles in Stradbroke Island at the end of the year. I got fifth at the titles last year and surfing with the top kids in Australia was definitely difficult. Hopefully I can go for the final again."

Shell Cove surfer Oceanna Rogers has eyes on achieving big things in 2020. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Shell Cove surfer Oceanna Rogers has eyes on achieving big things in 2020. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Oceanna has a long-term goal of competing on the World Surf League tour, just like her idol, seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore. But she knows there is plenty of hard work to do and understands the financial cost involved.

In fact, the teen has set up her own candle-making business called OceanLove Candles to support her surfing adventures.

"Dad had a bit of soy wax when he was waxing his surf board and he came with the idea of experimenting with candles," Oceanna said.

"I make the candles at night and can still surf during the day. It's fun and I can make some money from it."

As Oceanna prepares for a big year ahead, Brett will continue to be pivotal in her surfing development.

"Dad is now my coach," she said. "He's definitely hard on me if I do something wrong, but he's always trying to teach me new things.

"He's still better than me so I'm still learning off him."

This story Oceanna prepares for her big break first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.