The call of the sea

A Christchurch man’s life­time love of surf­ing is cel­e­brated in a book that’s a vis­ual feast. re­ports.

The Press - Escape - - PHOTOGRAPHY -

Four­teen-year-old War­ren Hawke had been surf­ing all day and was starv­ing. And he needed to get home, fast. He wasn’t meant to have been surf­ing. It was the win­ter school hol­i­days and his mother, who was at work, thought he was at home. He needed to get go­ing on his 45-minute bike ride to get home be­fore she did. But in a shop win­dow he saw a new surf mag­a­zine.

If he bought it, he wouldn’t have enough money to buy the ice­cream he needed to fight off his hunger. And worse, he wouldn’t get to see the beau­ti­ful girl who served ice-creams. He stood and stared at the mag­a­zine. He thought of the girl and the ice- cream. He went in­side and bought the mag­a­zine. There it is. An over­rid­ing ob­ses­sion with surf­ing.

And now decades later, Christchurch pho­tog­ra­pher Hawke has pub­lished a book – NZ Surf: Cap­tured by a Surf Lens – that em­bod­ies that im­pulse, that ab­so­lute fo­cus of those who Live to Surf and Surf to Live.

The photography is stunning. Hawke might have had surfers in mind when he put to­gether the book, but its ap­peal is wider than that. It’s a tour of New Zealand’s spec­tac­u­lar coast­line (with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the South Is­land); it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of Kiwi beach life; it’s top sports photography; and it is a homage to those who de­vote them­selves to the pur­suit of the per­fect wave.

Hawke has had pic­tures pub­lished in nearly ev­ery ma­jor surf­ing mag­a­zine in the world and for al­most 10 years was a con­tribut­ing pho­tog­ra­pher to Surfer Mag­a­zine when it was one of the top surf­ing mag­a­zines in the world.

His book is both the telling of a per­sonal story – early days of surf­ing at New Brighton in the 1960s through to surf trips around the coun­try – and a pic­to­rial record of great Kiwi surf­ing.

‘‘I’ve tried to put in the book the best pho­tos that I can – some his­tor­i­cal pho­tos from the 1970s and 80s, and also mod­ern-day pho­tos,’’ he says.

There’s a de­lib­er­ate phi­los­o­phy

Tay­lors Mis­take: Rob Skid­more has grabbed a rail and is rac­ing to beat the sec­tion ahead.

Rev­er­ence: Surfers dream of the per­fect wave at Tay­lors Mis­take.

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