the end­less sum­mer

New Zealand Surfing - - Conner Coffin -

Life in Raglan is dic­tated by the ocean. Made fa­mous by the 1966 surf­ing cult clas­sic movie ‘The End­less Sum­mer’ this small west coast town is known world­wide for its long stretch­ing left hand breaks and black sand surf beaches. The re­laxed bo­hemian vibe, su­perb waves and rugged land­scape have proven to be a draw­card for surfers, artists and hol­i­day mak­ers alike over the years. How­ever de­spite grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, Raglan has man­aged to main­tain its laid-back roots. The surf in Raglan has all op­tions cov­ered, from point breaks for the more ad­vanced to beach breaks suited to beginners need­ing some prac­tice. Reg­u­larly hold­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional surf­ing com­pe­ti­tions, Raglan’s Manu Bay is home to the fa­mous long peel­ing left-hand break and is ar­guable the most pop­u­lar of Raglan’s surf­ing spots; serv­ing up some in­cred­i­ble rides with in­side sec­tions hol­low enough for short­boards to tuck in, while the faces are the home of the long­boarder. Whale Bay and In­di­ca­tors Bay of­fer chal­leng­ing breaks per­fect for the more ex­pe­ri­enced surfer and fur­ther south around the coast you will find Rua­puke Beach which pro­vides ex­posed beach breaks known for their per­fect A-frame peaks. The pop­u­lar swim­ming spot of Ngarunui Beach (also known as Ocean Beach) closer to town is well suited to be­gin­ner surfers, in­clud­ing learn­ers who can of­ten be seen tak­ing part in a surf­ing les­son with Raglan Surf­ing School. As usu­ally comes with top surf­ing des­ti­na­tions, Raglan has be­come some­what of an all-round wa­ter sports hub with wind surf­ing, kite board­ing, kayak­ing, and more re­cently stand up pad­dle board­ing en­thu­si­asts all also stak­ing a claim. The calm tran­quil wa­ters of the es­tu­ary and har­bour are pop­u­lar with SU­Pers and kayak­ers, while the mouth of the har­bour is of­ten home to kite-board­ers tak­ing ad­van­tage of the ocean winds. The Tas­man sea also of­fers up a bounty of fish­ing op­tions – from sur­f­cast­ing off one of the many beaches to drag­ging a line be­hind a kayak on Raglan Har­bour or char­ter­ing a boat out into the open wa­ters in search of snap­per, king­fish, and ka­hawai . There is also plenty to do on land, with great walk­ing and hik­ing trails such as Mt Kar­ioi and Bridal Vail Falls, cy­cle trails, shop­ping, din­ing and a grow­ing nightlife scene which reg­u­larly fea­tures lo­cal and na­tional acts. Raglan is also well versed in throw­ing great events, from con­certs and wear­able art shows to film fes­ti­vals, cre­ative mar­kets and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. Sup­port­ing this iconic surf­ing des­ti­na­tion is a small yet welle­quipped town. Cafés, bars, food trucks, eater­ies and even a cof­fee roaster dot the streets along­side gal­leries, stu­dios and gift shops, while sev­eral surf­board mak­ers, known for their high per­for­mance boards, are also based here. A sus­tain­able eco-friendly life­style is the back­bone of the com­mu­nity here, from or­ganic mar­ket gar­dens, top re­cy­cling prac­tices and wind farms to tipi and earth-dome ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions. So whether you’re af­ter a road trip with mates or a re­laxed fam­ily break with a few waves thrown in, Raglan has it cov­ered. For more in­for­ma­tion on Raglan, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion and ac­tiv­i­ties, visit www.hamil­ton­waikato.com/raglan

Im­age by Cory Scott

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