One of the core reasons most of us chose Bournemouth to attend university was undoubtedly the beach. Sun, sea, sand, and surf is a sure-fire winning combination to a truly memorable university experience. The only problem is, most of us can’t, or haven’t, surfed, and as one U16s UK champion told James Hartnett, surfing is no walk in the park.
16-year-old Miles Lee Hargreaves is one of the UK’s hottest talents and, having already secured multiple competition wins, he is hungry for success on a worldwide scale.
Having started surfing at just seven years old, Miles has since gone on to become the second best surfer in the UK through years of training, grit, and determination. “When I started surfing it was just as a hobby, but in the past four years I’ve really started competing and since then surfing has turned into a professional sport for me.”
With no less than 12 wins on the water, Miles first experienced success at an early age and his hunger for glory has only ever grown. “My first win came in the British School Championships in 2008 when I won the U14’s division. I remember saying to my friend (who also finished on the podium) ‘I hope I win, I’ve never won before’ and once that win came I was ecstatic. It was a big event which earned me the title of British U14s School Boys Champion as well as giving me my first contract with Headworx.
“I’ve won 12 competitions so far, but you can never win enough!”
With an impressive world ranking of 25, Miles’ success is no lucky feat, as he revealed his training schedule – all whilst juggling his routine around college. “If the waves are good, I’ll be surfing for a solid two to three hours a day. If they’re flat, I’ll hit the gym. I’m a strong believer that you can only become a winner if you’re prepared to put the hours in – I haven’t trained nearly as much this year as last year and my results show this.”
Still a teenager, Miles already has plenty of memories of his surfing career, having already won the 2009 British title, qualifying for the British team twice and gaining his #25 world ranking in the 2011 World Junior Surfing Games. Not only that, but he’s also been lucky enough to train with surfing great Mick Fanning during a world tour that has seen him surf in such hotspots as Bali and Costa Rica. “The waves are perfect there, as too in Australia, and the water is really warm. I try to compete as much as possible, and try to win every competition I enter as its all great experience for me. Being able to hang with Mick Fanning was also amazing, and a memory I won’t forget in a hurry.”
Miles was quick to add words of gratitude to those who have instilled faith in him, “I’d like to thank my sponsors Billabong, Adams Surfboards, Nutrichef and Waxx Underwear for all they do for me. Not forgetting my parents too, who have helped me heaps in my career – starting from the first time I ever broke a new board and ran crying to them! I couldn’t do it without the support I have now.”
As for the future? “I eventually plan on becoming a pro surfer but it’ll take a lot of commitment and determination. My biggest inspiration is Kelly Slater – I think everyone in the surfing world is matched to him.”
With a packed diary this season Miles hopes to improve on his British and World rankings – and the way he’s going, he is well on course to becoming a superstar of the very near future.
To see more of Miles, check out his website at http://www.mileslh.co.uk/index.php