New Zealand Surfing - - News -

We're re­serv­ing this spot for those lo­cal guys & girls that adorn surf spots the length of Aotearoa, liv­ing for the pu­rity and stoke of each and ev­ery surf at their lo­cal. They don't chase the lime­light, nor re­ally care what is go­ing on amongst the world surf­ing scene. They're just surf­ing for the love of it, when­ever they can. This is­sue we're in­tro­duc­ing a man, who when it comes to be­ing from NZ, has a rather un­for­tu­nate nick­name of ‘Sheep.’

Mt Maunganui lo­cal, Alex 'Sheep' Suther­land shares some life facts.

Be­ing from NZ and with most of the world dish­ing out Sheep jokes how did you come up with the nick­name ‘Sheep’?

Haha! Back at col­lege I had a full fleece of golden locks that were re­lent­lessly trimmed into a mul­let dur­ing an English class. My mum took me to get a hair­cut that af­ter­noon be­cause she was too em­bar­rassed to be seen with me. Every­one in our smart-ass surf­ing group had a nick­name and sheep just stuck.

What’s be­ing the best mo­ment when you were in­tro­duced to some­one as ‘Sheep from New Zealand” ?

Haven’t had any mem­o­rable mo­ments, Auzzies love to have a laugh but other for­eign­ers think my name is ‘Shape’ be­cause our ac­cents are so cooked and we can’t say sheep prop­erly.

When and how did you first get in to surf­ing?

I used to spend ev­ery school hol­i­days in Whanga­mata at my aun­tie and un­cles place. Ev­ery day we were at the beach and my Un­cle Richie got me surf­ing on his old Bob Davie lip­sticks. My cousin Blake, Richie and I would spend all day in the water surf­ing, stop at lunch for a pie and ice block then carry on. I still get spoilt rot­ten ev­ery time I visit them, it was the best en­vi­ron­ment to learn to en­joy surf­ing. Travel?

Well-trav­elled, spent a few years work­ing on a su­pery­acht and ended up ex­plor­ing the Mal­dives for six months which was pretty sur­real! Spent about 3 years all over Europe, Indo/ Ments, Morocco, Hawaii, Mex­ico. Favourite place to surf?

Has to be the Is­land, too many good mem­o­ries surf­ing with my friends there over the years. Run-ins with con­tainer ships, sharks and end­less, end­less amounts of tubes. Your per­fect surf ses­sion?

A per­fect surf ses­sion would be surf­ing a nov­elty wave with my best mates. It’s such good feel­ing scor­ing a wave that only breaks once or twice a year with just your friends out, es­pe­cially if its bar­rel­ing.

Any bain's at your lo­cal?

Pad­dlers when we are step­ping, step­pers when we are pad­dling haha Nah no real bains.

Your stance on lo­cal­ism?

I hate nig­gly lo­cal­ism like snaking, drop­ping in and bad-tem­pered kooks, It’s just an­noy­ing and it’s not stop­ping any­one from surf­ing there. At least when a shot­gun is pulled on some­one it generally thins a crowd pretty quickly, you may as well do it prop­erly.

Other in­ter­ests?

Golf, mu­sic, build­ing boats, cook­ing, skat­ing


I’m a boat builder, re­pair­ing and re­fit­ting boats at the lo­cal ma­rina with a group of leg­ends. I love my job!

Life high­light?

When I was 17 my mum and her part­ner took my sis­ters and I out of school to travel around Italy stuffed in the back of a lit­tle Peu­geot for six months. We met some amaz­ing peo­ple and had some good laughs. I even got to surf a few places there. It fully opened the idea of how fun trav­el­ling can be.

To surf per­fect waves or to surf each wave per­fectly?

Haha my surf­ing is any­thing but per­fect, so I’d pick surf­ing per­fect waves over surf­ing per­fectly any day.

Shout outs!

Shout outs to My fam­ily, my best mates Divey, Peaky, Trav and Wada. The Vick­ers Ma­rine & Ma­rine re­flec­tions lads. The lo­cal old boys Andy, Rich and Clint for great boards and time on their skis. Oh, and that guy that surfs the Is­land with a weed whacker at­tached to his back, his de­ter­mi­na­tion to nail the shot is purely in­spir­ing.

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