HE didn’t finish with the result he would have liked, but Matt Banting was still satisfied with his performance at the Great Lakes Pro last weekend.
In his first competitive surf in more than 14 months, the Port Macquarie product was knocked out of the event in the semi-finals by good mate Jackson Baker.
Baker went on to win it and despite falling short, Banting managed scores of more than 15 points in all six heats he competed in.
The 23-year-old led the semi-final after scoring a 9.5 on his best wave, but could only manage a 5.5 on the second as Baker snuck through.
“I’ve missed the feeling of winning and I’ve been out of the water competitively for 14 months so it was good to feel that again,” Banting said.
“I didn’t go under 15 points the whole time; I picked up a few 16s and 17s so I was really happy with that.
“I know that in most events you will get through with scores of 15.”
I’d rather lose and learn something than breeze through and learn nothing.Matt Banting
The former world tour surfer said the event was a learning curve as he prepares to return to Surfest from February 19.
“You can’t go past that adrenaline rush and the feeling of butterflies,” Banting said.
“I learnt a bit in the semi-final and I was a bit gutted to start with, but I let it go pretty quickly.
“I’d rather lose and learn something than breeze through and learn nothing.”
Banting knows he doesn’t need to change too much to make the next step and win his first event on his return to the water.
“I’ve just got to do what I’ve been doing,” he said.
“You have to be patient with your wave selection because I had a 9.5 in the semi and I was winning the whole time, but my second wave was only a 5.5 which pushed me back.”