Celebrating Taranaki Surfing!
It seems the sport of surfing is so young that when you think of it being in a museum, which is usually associated with dinosaurs and our historic past it seems awfully weird. However when you think of how young the country of NZ is since colonization and that surfing is now in its third and fourth generation and that many parts of NZ particularly coastal towns have been settled and shaped by surfers, then that's worth celebrating! Nowhere on our shores has surfing had more influence on the local community since its birth than Taranaki, and when the local authorities rename the main road 'Surf Highway 45' then that speaks volumes as to how important surfing is here. This summer the Puke Ariki Museum has an exhibition running which tells the story of how surfing has helped shape the local community titled 'Surf- Shaping Taranaki'. With more surf breaks per kilometre than anywhere south of Hawaii, the Taranaki coastline has always enticed surfers to its shores and many call it home as a result. The exhibition, which runs from 6 December 2013 to 4 May 2014, features a lineup of personal stories and personalities, number eight wire ingenuity and high-end technology as well explaining the science behind the region’s unique geography and how that helps make our west coast waves work. Celebrating the pioneering feats of Taranaki's earliest surfers in the 1950's with such iconic names as Peter Quinn, Nigel Dwyer and Dave Littlejohn through to the modern day industry leaders like shaper Cain Aldridge and everyone in between, it was the contributions that these surfers have made to the community that prompted Puke Ariki to hold a surf exhibition. Puke Ariki Director Kelvin Day believes that many people are unaware of how surfing has affected the community and how surfers have helped to shape Taranaki. “Surfing has bought people to Taranaki and encouraged people to stay, there are a growing number of professionals whose lives could take them anywhere in the world but they choose to settle here.” He adds that Taranaki is well known for its farming, the oil and gas industry but also the surf. “Surfing contributes to who we are as a community; it is part of the fabric of Taranaki. It’s a story we haven’t told and it is worth sharing and celebrating.” Behind these epic Taranaki waves is the perfect storm of science, geography and a hefty dose of luck which local company Met Ocean Solutions are working with Puke Ariki to create displays to help explain. Peter McComb, Met Ocean Solutions oceanographer explains, “The hemispheric nature of the Taranaki coast provides a range of swell exposures and wind orientations and the nature of the lahar deposition from the volcano have created a diverse range of reefs and other subtidal structures that produce favourable surf”. If you are in the region over the next five months get down and check it out, it's FREE!. For more information visit www.pukeariki.com