HOME GROWN LEGENDS FROM / THE / ED
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.