I have had a bit of a frustrating time with surfing these last months. I haven’t been able to get out much and when I have, the conditions have been kinda rubbish. But today I had a good 3 hours at Mookies (secret NZ spot), and finally was able to put it all together to catch a couple of amazing waves… it was a breakthrough moment for me. I was kinda thinking I was just getting worse at surfing and feeling frustrated for it… but today was awesome…each time I surf I learn something new… today it was that you can’t sit off the shoulder of the wave and be worried about getting out of peoples’ way… if you do that you won’t improve as there is no power in the shoulder of the wave, so you’ll just flounder around and not catch many waves and not learn much…you just have to push your way into the lineup and commit…. worked super well for me today… wooohoooo!
This week I’m hosting Jure and Yannis from Coko in NZ. Yannis arrived a day earlier than Jure (who turns up tomorrow) so I showed Yannis some local sights…photos from Mukies, Horeke pub, Rarawa, and 90 Mile Beach. The first shots are of Yannis and I at the much loved Mukies, around the coast from the very famous Shipwreck Bay (Shippies). We had a great few hours out with a consistent easy break…
During the day we also stopped at Rarawa beach up North. The river that leads to the beach was brown due to run off created by the rain these last days. The colors, especially with the shadows around the Pōhutukawa trees, were crazy.
We also drove down the famous Northland highway – 90 mile beach – and stopped to check out a penguin and a stingray. Quite probably the stingray was chased into shallow waters by Orca who patrol many of the shores around the north island looking for stingrays to eat.
And on the way home we stopped to check out the beautiful Horeke pub. An old pub on the back of the Hokianga Harbour. One of the best pubs in NZ.
Seems watching the weather reports and getting an understanding of swell and wind patterns works…mostly… So, yesterday I took off to Tauranga Bay, which I thought was looking good according to the NZ Met office… the problem was that that particular bay is more or less a harbour, so it never gets any waves!
Still…nice place to visit. However, a couple of bays over – Taupo Bay – is actually a very good surf beach and the conditions were great… a little dumpy, but pretty good.
Taupo Bay is beautiful and it was an awesome day. My arms were pretty done from the day before at Shippies, so I lasted only an hour or so but it was good fun. After that I took off up Ninety Mile Beach with Samuel, a surfie I met at Shippies. Ninety Mile Beach is an official highway and particular areas are safe to drive on at low tide in 4WD vehicles. We hit it at exactly the right moment. There were quite a few people out and about including a few families collecting shellfish…
Then we drove up the river bed at Te Paki.
And finally to Cape Reinga at the very tip of the North Island… the waves up there are crazy…I’m a newbie surfie and newly fascinated by waves., so forgive me for the gratuitous wave shots..
Then today I went to Rarawa and the surf was also great and the day was luscious.
So, checking swell and wind conditions against the optimum conditions for the surf beach has been pretty successful so far. The one lesson learned is just local knowledge – getting to know which beaches are good surf beaches to begin with…awesome…