Kiwis have always been at the forefront of world adventure with iconic names such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Peter Blake, AJ Hackett, Rob hall and Graeme Dingle; all who flew the flag with great pride and success for this tiny pacific nation. Then we have surfers, quite possibly the most adventurous breed of humans outside of NASA astronauts, but then again space explorers only went to one place, surfers head everywhere there are waves and everywhere in between during their travels. So if we were to cross a surfer and a kiwi, we end up with US! Kiwi Surfers. Since the birth of surfing, Kiwi’s have been fascinated by what lies beyond the horizon and every point and headland, and no matter where you find yourself in the deepest and darkest places on the planet, in places where you think no human has ever travelled before, a Kiwi surfer will pop out of the bush and say “Hey Bro”. Kiwis have never been the type to gloat and claim credit for many of their accomplishments, preferring to find the El Dorado and keep it quiet for themselves and a few close mates. It is even true that in surfing circles the most perfect waves on the planet found in the Mentawai Islands had been surfed by a Kiwi surfer years before another surfer showed and then announced to the world that he had discovered the world’s richest wave zone. Recently I had a technological meltdown and upon cleaning up my files and getting my new production machine up and running, I found myself sourcing a folder of my best work over 23 years. Now I knew already that I and my brotherhood of surfers get to experience and take in places that 95% of other New Zealanders have never even heard of, let alone seen. But when I had all these images laid out in front of me, it was a giant slap in the face of exactly how lucky we are to experience moments such as this in our lives, moments that simply come about through the love of chasing swells and scoring the best and most unique waves. You see surfers deep down don’t really like crowds, sure sometimes we have to accept that our local breaks will on their day get busy, that is modern surfing and the sport has grown huge, why? Cause it’s so damn cool, and we are the envy of society and now everyone wants a piece! But in between those days, there is nothing better than taking a gamble and searching for a little slice of paradise to enjoy with just a select few, or on your own if that’s your gig. This search, often takes us to places on the map, where no roads exist, and no footprints outside of the odd animal tracks lie. These journeys are filled with many trials and tribulations and they take us to parts of this country and the world that only few have tread. While exploration has opened right up in recent years and is currently the cool thing to do, to live off the grid and disappear from society, along with technology like Google Earth, there isn’t much out there still left to be discovered, but there’s certainly a lot out there to be enjoyed. I remember when I was just a young grom, my regular break was Port Waikato on the West Coast just south of Auckland. Now I knew what we had locally, and I knew what Raglan was like, but looking at a map I always wondered what that whole stretch of coastline in between held off limits to the day tripper or less adventurous. So, one school holiday, during an offshore medium sized swell, I threw on my backpack, with my surfboard under my arm and set off for over a week, hiking and surfing my way down the coast solo. I’ve never repeated that journey but those memories of that adventure are still so vivid 26 years on, and the waves that I scored will live with me forever. I felt like a pioneer and it’s possible that some of the waves I surfed had never been surfed before, or even since. There are many parts of our coastline that are similar to this, with a few accessible main breaks and a heap of coastline in between that never gets touched by more than a seagull or seal. In this job we have spent many years waiting patiently for the perfect conditions and putting to rest the rumours of many epic surf breaks, and with the company of some like-minded adventurers, we have at times been skunked and gone home wishing we had just paddled out at the usual spot, as we missed out on surfing altogether, and then there are many times that we have scored something so unique and firing that we have all gone home floating on Cloud-9. Along the way we have also discovered and pioneered several breaks, which when you think about all the years that surfers have combed the nooks and crannies of our coastline, it’s hard to believe that there may be something out there still waiting, but there is! They’re still out there, breaking perfectly on their day, peeling off without a surfer to disturb their form. All you need is a little of that spirit of adventure and a little time. Go on get out there, it’s in your blood!
Yours in surfing and adventure
Cory Scott and The Team at NZ Surfing Mag.