HOME GROWN LE­GENDS FROM / THE / ED

New Zealand Surfing - - News -

Back when I was a grom my bed­room walls were cov­ered with pages I'd pulled from mag­a­zines, of guys who were the men of the day; names such as Occy, Sunny Gar­cia, Tom Carroll, these guys were the best in the busi­ness and the pho­tos I'd cho­sen were those that de­picted the type of surf­ing I liked. In amongst these in­ter­na­tional su­per­stars also hung a few pics of kiwi surfers that I'd col­lected out of pam­phlets and there had even been a few fea­tured in the same in­ter­na­tional surf mags. I'd never heard of these guys but they were Ki­wis and that's all that mat­tered to me! Even at that young age I was a proud kiwi who loved to watch my favourite home­grown sports­peo­ple dom­i­nate the world. Names such as Ratso, Ja­son Mathews, and Shane 'Grub' Grimes were etched into my head as ev­ery night I'd lie in bed and these names and the waves they were blaz­ing pro­jected at me. A lit­tle while later I rented two old Beta video tape movies from the lo­cal store, a doc­u­men­tary on the Pipe­line Mas­ters and the Coca Cola Sur­fabout in Piha in 1981 which fea­tured all the kiwi surfers of the day plus some big name ozzies. Then I played the Pipe Mas­ters and was mes­mer­ized by these big balled gla­di­a­tors toy­ing with waves that could kill! Sev­eral waves later along the bot­tom of the screen flashed 'Al­lan ByrneNew Zealand', I couldn't be­lieve my eyes! So, I re­wound it in­stantly and watched that over and over, he went on to place 2nd in that con­test and this left me won­der­ing, if in both of these videos our kiwi surfers who were up against the big­gest names in the sport and match­ing them, why hadn't I heard of these guys? As I grew up in the kiwi cul­ture, that very ques­tion was an­swered once I be­gan to un­der­stand this thing they call the 'Tall Poppy Syn­drome'. As ki­wis, we are all very quick to chop down our big­gest achiev­ers across the board, yet at the same time we will put over­seas achiev­ers up on a man­tle as greats. 30 years on as a surfer and after 22 years work­ing in the surf me­dia in­dus­try I have been su­per priv­i­leged to wit­ness some of our own surfer’s great­est feats, both on home soil and through­out the worlds line­ups. I've also wit­nessed the tri­als and tribu­la­tions that our surfers go through, com­mit­ted to per­form­ing at the high­est level and mak­ing it on the in­ter­na­tional stage, with some­times lit­tle or no sup­port, mean­while the very others they are com­pet­ing against have the road paved with gold. Sure this is a prod­uct of com­ing from a small pop­u­lated na­tion where other sports dom­i­nate the lime­light, yet through the sheer kiwi will and re­silience, some of these surfers have made it at the top level, and then there are many others that gave up fight­ing the hard fight, or sim­ply never got the chance to prove their worth. Dur­ing this time, I have also been hon­oured to rub shoul­ders with some of the best surfers and surf me­dia the world has ever seen, and dur­ing this time I've felt hum­bled time and time again by the amount of re­spect our top surfers ac­tu­ally have abroad, surf- ers that are held in high re­gard. The amount of times I've been in places and been asked "Where's your ac­cent from?" and when I've an­swered NZ, I've been told of many mo­ments of great­ness that these people had wit­nessed from kiwi surfers, whether that be in Hawaii, In­done­sia and Aus­tralia. It sure is a won­der­ful feel­ing, and my kiwi pride thumps through my ch­est. But wouldn't it be good if we cel­e­brated these home­town le­gends as much, or hope­fully more, than they re­ceive on the other side of the world! This is­sue we cel­e­brate the lives, ac­co­lades and achieve­ments of many of these le­gends, and there are many more we could men­tion. Come on New Zealand let’s get in be­hind our le­gends, both past and present cause it’s hard enough out there on the big stage with­out be­ing beaten down back home!

Yours in Kiwi pride

Cory Scott and the Team at NZ Surf Mag

An­other one of our le­gends, our waves! While we of­ten look over­seas as a bench mark for epic waves, why is it that in­ter­na­tional surfers look to our shores as must do places to visit, for dream like set-ups such as this! While it's nice to travel and ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent cul­tures and waves, what we have here on our very own shores should be cher­ished and re­spected cause they truly are world class! Photo: Cory

The Ed Cory, in be­tween two le­gends of NZ Surf­ing; Nigel Dwyer(L) and Benny Hutch­ings.

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