Through the bond of a wave.
As surfers, nothing really grabs hold of our inner emotions more than riding that perfect wave, some even say certain waves can be life changing. As grommet surfers we all live in this bubble where nothing else matters, then the inevitable takes hold in life - we grow up, leave school, begin work, perhaps get married, and for some, bring new life into the world. Just when you thought a wave was the most important item in life along comes parenthood and blows that completely out the door. If anything is truly life changing it is creating a life and becoming a parent. As we now approach our third generation of surfers, over these years since surfing became part of our lives and past-times, being able to pass on and share something so special to ones self and see the stoke develop as your child rides their first wave and then kicks-on to drag you out surfing everyday, that’s a pretty special feeling. To continue to live our dreams and watch our offspring live theirs on their own journey through life is something that you’d find it hard to come up with the words to describe. However Piha’s Jemarl Paerata gave it a nudge and he takes us on his journey from his own days of surfing through to the one he shares now with his son Elliot as they find the time of their lives, together.
Ko Tongariro te Maunga Ko Taupo te Moana Ko Te Heu Heu te tangata Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa te Iwi Ko Ngati Te Kohera te Hapu Ko Jemarl Paerata tohu ingoa tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. In the last couple of years my son Elliot has been all over the world and rubbed shoulders with some of the best surfers on the planet. When I was his age, 16, the closest I’d come to surfing was staring at a faded poster on my bedroom wall, in a small inland town full of rugby heads. I got my big break when my family shifted temporarily to Australia. With a job in a fish and chip shop I layby-ed the first surfboard I came across. Yep… she was a beauty, a lip stix twin fin with a green alligator on it found down at the local cash converters. I thought surfing would be like any other sport I’d tried and I’d be pretty flash in no time. You know, I’d be pulling in at pipeline like the guy on my poster…… wrong!!!!!Trust me, I learnt the hard way. I got caught in rips, smashed on rocks, held under, you name it, and only after weeks of that did I figure out you needed wax on your board. Decades on I haven’t improved much but thanks to Elliot, I’ve traveled to surf breaks all over the show. The world juniors in Peru and Panama, comps from California to Australia. My wife Mel has been to France twice to the world finals of the King of the Groms after he won the NZ title back to back. This has followed years of attending every grom comp and surf comp known to exist in NZ. Competitive surfing is a tough game and I am proud of Elliot’s dedication and his achievements, but I am equally proud of him being an all round good sort who hasn’t ditched his old man. He still hoots me in the line up and waits till we are behind closed doors before he gives me surfing tips or tells me about some of my weaker points. Nias in North Sumatra is one of our favourite places. The fact that I can travel and holiday with my son, paddle out with him to some of the best barrels on earth, see him get the rides of his life, honestly ranks amongst the highest points in my life. It’s not just about loving Nias and loving the waves, it’s about taking time out of the life - work cycle and just hanging out with my boy. Mel always says if our lives were to turn to custard tomorrow, at least we would know we’ve spent weeks and months having the time of our lives. As she puts it, way better to spend our money on living than on a designer bathroom.
ELLIOT DISPLAYS THE FRUITS OF MANY YEARS OF PARENTAL SUPPORT AND BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL AND SURF HIGH QUALITY
ELLIOT FOCUSSED ON A CLEAN EXIT FROM A NIAS GREEN ROOM.