RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

DE­LIV­ERS BRAG­GING RIGHTS.

New Zealand Surfing - - FRONT PAGE - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: CORY

AIN’T BRAG­GING RIGHTS AWE­SOME? THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO BOAST TO YOUR MATES, OR RATHER RUB IT IN, THAT YOU SCORED AN EPIC SES­SION OR A CER­TAIN WAVE THAT THEY MISSED.

It’s a sweet feel­ing see­ing the pain in their eyes no mat­ter how hard they try and dis­guise it, you taunt them till the point of break­ing and some mates do, pack­ing sad’s and re­fus­ing to talk to their best friends for weeks, months, some­times years, sim­ply be­cause they were so hurt. But what you have to re­mem­ber is life can swing in dif­fer­ent ways pretty quickly and you may just find your­selves on the other side of those taunts the next swell or ses­sion at your magic spot. Win­ter was bit­terly cold this year but the weather was su­per kind to us with next to no rain, but come spring and as it is renowned for so did the down­pours. Gum­boot sales for the week went through the roof and the lawns that had started to re­sem­ble the Sa­hara Desert had now turned to mud. But hey as surfers who ever minded get­ting a bit wet, es­pe­cially when you know that fresh rain and lots of it means newly formed river bars of the shin­gle type, ready to drain in­side out and of­fer up pits be­fore the new swells close them over and turn them back into close­out shore slam­mers. Well that sce­nario was some­thing a few of us dreamt of on a few of those nights as

the del­uge buck­eted down. As the front moved off and the skies cleared in came an overnight wind change and ac­cord­ing to swell charts so would a swell swing off the back of that very low that brought all the rain. We had to be on it early, as shin­gle bars like this can wash away and close over as soon as the river lev­els drop com­bined with in­com­ing waves in a mat­ter of hours. Hit­ting the road at 4AM was painful and the shakes from a far to early morn­ing cof­fee set in. Reach­ing the coast and hello, where is the swell? With the charts call­ing 14 feet at 16 sec­onds that usu­ally equates to around six foot on this stretch of coast, not dead flat, mir­ror like! Oh well the rods were in the car so it’s off to the near­est gas sta­tion for a bur­ley bomb and some pilchards and at least try and make the most of the morn­ing with a fresh mooching Snap­per. Well hours later and with no bites we pulled pin on that idea as well, it def­i­nitely wasn’t our day. Like the old days we snuck a look at the weather map at the lo­cal shop with­out buy­ing the pa­per, the low was deep and in­tense and there was no way we wouldn’t get swell, we were ob­vi­ously just to pre­ma­ture out of the blocks like a Ja­maican sprinter. Da­mon Gun­ness had brought his fam­ily away for the week­end and had hired a bach close by to keep an eye on things and was perched up on the hill watch­ing fir­ing re­ports in ev­ery ten min­utes. By night­fall a slight lift in swell was ev­i­dent and we had fin­gers crossed for the morn­ing. By first light an ev­ery so of­ten odd three footer peeled through, slightly wob­bly and wide on the bank. Ev­ery so of­ten a deep one would drain through but it was a far cry from what we had our hopes set on. Af­ter glow­ing the diesel plugs and mid twist of the ig­ni­tion to fire up the car and head home, an in­com­ing lump stopped that mo­tion in its tracks. Where the hell did that come from? Af­ter watch­ing next to noth­ing for close to and hour we were star­ing at a six foot drain pipe that had the lads scram­bling for their crafts. Hit­ting the lineup they quickly worked out that from land while it looked good from far, it was far from good, and su­per shifty mak­ing catch­ing the good ones hit and miss and be­ing in the right place at the right time was key. Within the first hour Da­mon had al­ready tak­ing the award for the most ex­pen­sive surf of the year, snap­ping two sticks af­ter get­ting caught in­side on the triple up dry shin­gle bar and had

MAIN: BOBBY HANSEN DOM­I­NATED THIS SES­SION BE­COM­ING THE MAG­NET MAN AND AT­TRACT­ING THE BEST WAVES OF THE DAY. IN­SETS TOP - BOT­TOM: JOHNNY HICKS SHOWED UP A LIT­TLE LATE BUT BET­TER THAN NEVER. THE SHAL­LOW SHIN­GLE BAR WAVE FAC­TORY.

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