BE­HIND / THE / COVER

New Zealand Surfing - - Between Sets -

It’s the fes­tive sea­son, time to un­wind, hope­fully re­ceive and give a few gifts s and en­joy that well-earned break you’ve worked damn hard for all year long. . So let’s cre­ate a sce­nario where we of­fer you the gift of imag­i­na­tion, and to place your­self in this pic­ture. You’ve ob­vi­ously planned to be around the ocean dur­ing this time, you’re a surfer right? So where else would you go! Al­ready from the in­di­cat­ing signs it’s gonna be a long hot sum­mer. So, you’ve made plans, whether that be head­ing away to visit friends, rel­a­tives, or to go camp out at your favourite spot wher­ever that may be in Aotearoa. The car is burst­ing with gear but most im­por­tantly the boards are in. The swells are in­con­sis­tent that’s sim­ply part of the par­cel of this time of year, wind swells of­fer up con­stant of­fer­ings which are enough to get you by, cut short by the sum­mer sea breezes that kick in pretty early and you spend the rest of the day kick­ing back do­ing what­ever it is that you en­joy, it may be read­ing a book, or sip­ping on a cold brew, plan­ning that arvo BBQ. Mates start to text, hyp­ing up this ap­par­ent swell due to hit bang on New Year, jeez how epic would that be to see in the New Year with some epic waves! You watch that fore­cast like a hawk cir­cling around road­kill. New Year’s Eve ar­rives, of course it’s a big­gie, you pour your mates drinks a lit­tle stiffer than yours, know­ing that could give you the ad­van­tage in the morn­ing. The night is epic, but you know at first light there could be a chance that this New Year will be the great­est of all time. You throw a smoke bomb, sneak­ing off from cel­e­bra­tions early. Or jeez you could be one of them lucky ones that can party all night and still op­er­ate per­fectly the next morn. You’ve planned ahead, you’ve waxed up the night be­fore, so no one can hear that dead giveaway sound. It’s still dark and you can hear the swell thump­ing, crack­ing on the sand bar. You pad­dle out any­way, dodg­ing ex­plod­ing white­wa­ter and by the time you get out the back, there’s a faint glow in the sky. You still re­ally don’t know if the waves are cook­ing or clos­ing out, let alone how big it is. You bob alone out the back be­yond the break­ing lumps. The first rays of the New Year pierce the hori­zon and fill the lineup with a golden glow, a set ap­pears and you stroke into po­si­tion drop­ping in to a golden tomb be­fore be­ing blown out a hun­dred me­tres down the line, and be­gin the pad­dle back out, hav­ing to ask your­self if you are in­deed still dream­ing. This could quite pos­si­bly be the great­est mo­ment of your surf­ing life and you in­dulge in ev­ery mil­lisec­ond of this mo­ment. An hour passes but it seems like it’s been days, and in­stantly the wind swings 180 and be­gins blow­ing in your face. The lineup cuts up and you make your way in, to find your mates stand­ing on the shore “Hey bro, why didn’t you wake us up? Well it looks like shit any­way, I’m glad we didn’t get up so early for that rub­bish, so much for the epic swell!” You smile and that smile sits glued to your face for weeks. Have an epic sum­mer and may you find your­self be­ing this guy. Photo: Cory

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