New Zealand Surfing - - Roady 81 - Words and im­ages by Cory

The premise was sim­ple! Un­like so many of our other Primo Roady's over the last 13 years (where we have waited for a prime swell and the best con­di­tions we can find and drive through the night in a hit and run mis­sion) the 'Mega Roady' was spawned by an idea to take the con­cept of be­ing an or­di­nary hu­man that has a time­frame and dead­lines to fit in a once a year trip and make the most of what­ever was thrown at us dur­ing that pe­riod. Not ev­ery­one can wait for per­fect surf and not many have the lux­ury of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing flaw­less surf when­ever they have time off. Our orig­i­nal thought was to throw a few surfers into the Mighty Camper and head to the top of the North Is­land and over the next 10 days head to wher­ever the waves and wind drew us. Well that was the idea at the time! But all good ideas usu­ally have a habit of be­com­ing con­torted in this sport and when a sav­age spring equinox parked it­self over the coun­try lock­ing in an ex­tended north-west gale force flow for weeks on end it looked like the only place on the north­ern of the two is­lands that would have any sort of waves was Gis­borne and that if we wanted surf the con­cept of cov­er­ing the is­land was done and dusted. But how things change on th­ese Primo Roady's!

Day 1:

Be­fore any trip can take off you need crew, and with noth­ing but a mis­er­able fore­cast on the charts a few of our pos­si­ble starters dropped off the planet of com­mu­ni­ca­tion; all the ex­cuses were flow­ing like end of year ex­ams, work and more pa­thetic jus­ti­fi­ca­tions. Come on guys this was a Primo Roady and there were laughs about to go down. The night be­fore we set off the fore­cast still re­vealed a tight NW flow and all wind veins pointed to­ward the East Cape re­gion, yet a late night up­date showed a light SW change for the morn­ing and a mod­er­ate swell, mean­ing we would hit the road on day one down the Auck­land South­ern mo­tor­way bound for the West Coast point breaks of Raglan. A fun start, where we were joined by the Raglan Surf Academy who ob­vi­ously get spoilt for surf dur­ing school hours as pulling up to good look­ing 3-4 foot Manu Bay they were all stand­ing around watch­ing and hours later were still stand­ing around. Our core crew for the trip in Matt He­witt and El­liot Paer­ata- Reid had been wave starved lately and needed no such prompt­ing to get out and shred. Hewy, who prides him­self as a power surfer (mean­ing he surfs for half hour max) even sur­prised him­self when four hours later he came in surfed out! Our young grom El­liot just stayed in his wet­suit all day, even when we de­cided to go and do a lit­tle sight­see­ing that arvo and visit the Bri­dal Veil falls talk­ing him­self up on how he was go­ing to bomb the falls, un­til he saw the 180 foot drop and dropped balls! In­stead he talked


Hewy into pad­dling un­der­neath the falls to ex­pe­ri­ence the power first hand. Tourists on hand thought th­ese kiwi kids were nuts and they weren't wrong but they'd seen noth­ing yet. This was day one and things were only go­ing to get twisted from here on in. We made it back from our scenic ad­ven­ture to Manu Bay for an evening ses­sion where the lads hit the wa­ter while our team chef and so­cial me­dia guru Dustin Van Log­geren­berg cooked up a mean feast for the lads in the Mighty kitchen serv­ing up some fine cui­sine sup­plied by the epic crew at Back­coun­try foods. Nor­mally on surf mis­sions you eat take­aways, pies, bags of chips, but not on the NZ Surf Mag shift. We are up­per class and pre­fer meals such as Moroc­can Lamb, Beef Bour­guignon, and Tan­doori Chicken with a Creamy Yo­ghurt Sauce all whipped up in a mere ten min­utes. With a sim­i­lar swell fore­casted for day two but with winds clock­ing more to the NW we de­cided to stay put and have another ses­sion in the morn­ing be­fore head­ing off to ar­rive in time for the fresh swell down in Gis­borne. Tak­ing up lo­cal school teacher Larry Fisher’s of­fer to park up at his house that night, we had just set­tled in when a call came in from Gis­borne that the swell had ar­rived early and on dark there were stacked lines of three foot. Sorry Larry and wake up groms, we are driv­ing through the night to G-town!

LEFT: Matt He­witt (left) and El­liot Paer­ata- Reid (right) the core surfers of the Mega Roady praise the heav­ens for the wa­ter from above. | ABOVE: Clas­sic mo­ments from an all time Primo Roady!

Bush walk time.

El­liot get­ting all rasta­far­ian on the East Cape.

The Mighty and Mako­rori

Hewy hooked on fly fish­ing!

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