Surfing, more than riding a wave
As I drove up the middle of the island recently chasing a fresh swell out on the East Coast and the black of darkness gave way to a crimson dawn, it got me thinking, especially after driving two hours and not seeing another soul, that as surfers we get to experience moments like this on a regular basis more than any other. Our lives revolve around making the most of a perfect swell, so early starts are par for the course and we milk every ray of light from that day right through until darkness sets in. During these hours we become privileged to witness moments that most average Kiwis never get to see in their lifetime, and when you consider that New Zealander's spend more time in the outdoors than any other of the world’s populations, to think that we are a tiny fraction of a percentage of the world that is out appreciating the mind blowing beauty of this planet is surreal. Some of us live and work in the concrete jungles and get to escape for some weekend relief, while others are uber privileged to live in areas that provide day in day out connections with these finer moments. The morning run down the tree lined valley is deafening under the song of bird life with Tui's, Bellbirds and the Kereru (wood Pigeon) taking flight for the morning. You burst on out onto the beach, the clean sweepings, left with no sign of prior visitors and your footprints mark the first occupancy for this new day. You run around the rocks startling a seal which is resting up basking in the morning sun, and make your way to the paddle out spot. The water is clean and refreshing as you dip your head for the first time, this is what it's all about! The waves are pumping and that enhances the whole experience and stoke, then a fin breaks the surface out beyond the incoming swells, you become anxious, your heart races and you begin to think about heading in, then in an instant a pod of dolphins
begin to frolic in amongst the very waves you are riding. Your semi moment of near panic is transformed into pure ecstasy as these amazing creatures begin to play with you gliding under your board as you take off down the line. Another lone surfer paddles out to share this moment he has witnessed from the shore, you greet each other with a distant raise of the eye brows, before exchanging verbal niceties. Much to your surprise you each learn that you live around the corner from each other and agree to catch up the following weekend and head out together. You've been surfing since early dawn and head in for a bite to eat, sitting on the dune watching wave after perfect wave roll in, eating faster and faster so you can get back out there sooner. In the distance several tourists walk the beach taking photos of the panorama, they pass you as you head on back out and exchange greetings and remark at the amazing place you live in. Soon they will return home back to a place where scenes like this can only be seen in magazines, yet you keep on living the dream! The day couldn't have been scripted better, as you have your eighth "just one more wave" and as only darkness drives you from the lineup, you make your way in behind a waddling endangered Penguin returning from its day at sea to rest in the foliage which drapes this coastline. As you drive on home with salt crust dropping in your eyes making them water over, you reflect. During this one day of many you will experience from here on, you have had the privilege, not the right, to lay witness upon moments that should never be taken for granted, from the rising sun, to the clean water and the wildlife that shared that place in time with you. Ask yourself how special that day would have been if none of this existed, if it was only a wave that was ridden? Then you will realise that surfing is more than just a wave. Protect and stand up for days like this and the things that encompass it, after all many cannot comprehend that this even exists in this modern time, only you have seen and heard so only you can keep it all in check! Yours in surfing, Cory Scott and the Team at NZ Surfing Magazine.
You've just ridden a wave for a kilometre and as you walk back around for 'Just one more' before darkness sets in, you admire the setting sun, the golden glow of the sand dunes and you get lost in your own little world for a moment and feel like you roam this planet alone. Surfing, it's more than just riding waves. Enjoy the moment! Photo: Cory.