Nic Squiers is a firm believer in following a gut feeling. So when the Corrimal-based boardrider came within a whisker of getting knocked out of the hunt for the Australian Surf Festival Open Men's title, he knew he had to follow his surfer's intuition.
Rather than fight it out for a wave with his rivals in the competition's final, Squiers took a risk which would reap the ultimate reward.
"I think you have to look outside the box ... I just had a gut feeling that it was going to work and I went out and sat on my own," Squiers explained.
"The other guys let me sit on my own and it basically let me get any wave that I wanted to.
"I think when you get a gut feeling you have to back yourself and do it."
The bold move paid off big time for the local talent, who piled on a massive final heat score of 18.15 (out of 20) to claim the Open Men's title.
He marched to victory, defeating event standout Jake Paterson (Yallingup, WA) and fellow South Coast surfer Hayden Blair (Mollymook).
In choppy three- to four-foot waves, it was Squiers's tactics which proved the difference.
"I did something a little bit different and everybody else did the same thing. I got the better pick of the waves," Squiers said.
"I sat down the beach a little bit. I probably went 100 metres further down the beach and looked for a lot of the bigger waves.
"It was hitting shallow banks rather than the big hole, so I was able to perform a little bit more vertical power turns rather than trying to link some reforming turns to the inside shore break."
The win sees Squiers and Blair head to Peru later this year as part of the Australian team competing at World ISA Games, which will be the first time Squiers has competed in the green and gold.
"It is a great opportunity and was definitely on my bucket list," he said.
"It is my first time and Hayden Blair is a good friend of mine, so it is going to be awesome to be able to travel with him and share the experience."