Noosa's child surfing prodigy taming 30-foot monsters
AT JUST thirteen years old Amarnie Barber is already shredding 30-foot monster waves most surfers would never dream of tackling.
The Noosa surfing prodigy has the world at her feet and is sharing giant swells with some of the biggest names in the sport.
Currently competing in the Banzai Pipeline Pro in Hawaii, what she lacks in size and experience she's more than making up for in enthusiasm.
Last week she conquered the famous Waimea Bay - the home of big wave surfing - a mere three years after first taking up the sport.
If she's scared, she doesn't let on when talking about the achievement.
"They're huge waves but it's really exciting," Amarnie said.
"Compared to this, Noosa has pretty small waves.
"Here is so much bigger and steeper, it's sick.
"You look at the face of the wave and think 'are you going to make the drop?'
"A lot of people come up to me and ask questions. How old I am? Where I learned to surf? That sort of thing."
For her father Craig, watching on from the beach is a nerve wracking experience.
"Waimea Bay has super, super big waves, some are 20-30 foot," Mr Barber said.
"These are triple XL waves and it does freak me out a bit, so we bought her a helmet.
"This week she has been riding the pipes, and they're 10-footers."
He said they were the most dangerous and technical waves.
"It's pretty gnarly," Mr Barber said.
"It's a shallow reef with lots of rocks.
"Everything is committed to the drop.
"Sometimes I do wonder if I'm making the right decisions."
At Waimea Bay, Amarnie shared waves with John John Florence and Jordy Smith.
This week it's been Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore.
"They're all really nice, we just talk about surfing," Amarnie said.
She's even been accepted by the Pipeline locals, something that as a foreigner is rare.
"There's a bit of a stigma to Pipeline, the locals don't like foreigners coming in," her proud father said.
"At first they kept dropping in on her. Now they're helping her get waves.
"She has shown she is competitive and earned their respect by doing well."
That has the New Zealand native aiming high.
"Just the feeling of catching these waves and being out there, sharing the waves with my idols," Amarnie said when asked about the best part.
"I'd love to take out Pipeline but just want to get good waves and some good scores."