A former Isle of Wight surfer will represent England's U16 Surfing Team at EuroSurf 2024 in Portugal this month, following a successful fundraising campaign to get him on the plane.

Jago Tasker, who lived in Freshwater until December 2022, paddled his first waves on the Island at eight years old on second-hand bodyboards his dad, Dan, found for him.

He started going to 'Nipper Sessions' through the iSurf school in Sandown, and at age nine, Jago joined the IW Surf Club's junior team

Soon after, Jago caught the competition bug when he entered the English Interclub Surfing Championships at Fistral Beach in Newquay.

Jago in the early days on the IslandJago in the early days on the Island (Image: Sarah Archer)

Jago's mum, Sarah, told the County Press: “If there were waves, he would be there. Before school, after school, even from primary school!"

His family have dedicated countless hours to supporting him and his passion for the sport, relocating to Cornwall where he is now a member of Newquay Boardriders Surf Club.

He ranked third at this year’s U16 Nationals and most recently took second place at Surfing England’s Rip Curl Grom Search UK event.

Earlier this year, Jago was selected for the U16s squad at the International Surfing Association World Junior Championship in El Salvador, which he competed at in May.

(Image: Surfing England)

He missed two GCSE exams while he was away, but was given special permission to be absent, but, the day after returning from Central America, he sat his first exam!

Jago was also selected to represent England at the upcoming EuroSurf Championship in Portugal next month.

Jago said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected to represent Surfing England & be part of the U16 boys’ team at the European Surfing Championship in Portugal this July 2024!

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to gain invaluable experience and proudly represent England. It’s a great platform to pursue my ambition of being a professional surfer.”

Jago in actionJago in action (Image: Paul Blackley)

To fund the trip, Jago’s parents launched a GoFundMe, upon the advise of Surf England, to raise £1,000 to help cover travel expenses, accommodation, coaching, equipment and specific surf competition travel insurance. 

After just four days, after 37 donations, the target was reached.

Sarah said: “We’re actually a bit shy as a family, so we didn’t really want to ask, but we did, and we couldn’t believe how supportive people have been.

“There’s some people who know Jago, and know how hard he has tried and it is really lovely that they have supported him, but there’s also a couple of people who don’t even know – which is incredible!

“It’s fantastic, absolutely unbelievable, the amount it is going to help us!”

Jago at the Dave Gray Memorial Surf Competition at Compton Bay in 2022Jago at the Dave Gray Memorial Surf Competition at Compton Bay in 2022 (Image: Siân Elizabeth)

The EuroSurf competition takes place between July 18-26 in Santa Cruz, Portugal