New Zealand Surfing - - News -

Look­ing back through his­tory, ex­plor­ers upon sailing into new lands wrote in their ship jour­nals that they had wit­nessed lo­cal na­tives rid­ing waves on planks of wood and ca­noes and de­scribed it as surf­ing. So, for cen­turies the term surf­ing, rid­ing the surf, has been around well be­fore the sport de­vel­oped into what we now know. Like all recre­ational pur­suits and sports, tech­niques and pro­cesses de­velop over many years, and for us surf­ing be­gan in the form we cur­rently par­take on long­boards, mas­sive wooden ships, be­fore the foam and fi­bre­glass devel­op­ments in­fil­trated of­fer­ing bet­ter per­for­mance and longevity. Yet since those early days surf­ing has de­vel­oped into many dif­fer­ing forms. But I ask the ques­tion what is surf­ing? Surely it is the act of rid­ing along or within a break­ing wave, also known as surf? So why is it that in this cur­rent day that we have al­most pi­geon holed our­selves into think­ing that surf­ing is short board­ing? Long­board­ing we call log­ging, body­board­ing we call lid rid­ing, and if any­thing dare not have 3 or 4 fins it’s termed retro. I’m as guilty as any­one, but re­cently I was at the spot pic­tured here, and over sev­eral decades I’ve vis­ited this place many times and al­ways mar­velled at how this could just quite be the long­est right han­der in NZ ri­valling some of the long­est in the world, yet it re­ally only be­comes sur­fa­ble a few times a year in the big­gest of swells, and there we go again, the term sur­fa­ble! Where it would be deemed big enough to ride on the short­board, but my god, many many days a year this wave right here would be a heap of fun on other craft, rid­ing 1-2 foot­ers for a kilo­me­tre laugh­ing while your thighs locked up from an un­fa­mil­iar move­ment. The ob­vi­ous choice would be a long­board or a high vol­umed fish type shape, but would you be go­ing for a surf or go­ing for a long­board cause you couldn’t go for a surf! Get my drift? There are so many days where surf con­di­tions don’t co-op­er­ate ex­actly how you’d like, days when the waves are per­fect but just a lit­tle on that small side. I know many guys, in­clud­ing my­self, that sim­ply wouldn’t even at­tempt to ride waves like this cause they are un-sur­fa­ble! But what is con­sid­ered sur­fa­ble or even surf? Is it only when it is 2-6 foot? Or is it 6 inches to 30 feet, on­shore, side shore or off­shore, does it re­ally mat­ter? Yes, right here in this very magazine, we tend to fea­ture pre­dom­i­nantly short board­ing, driven and di­rected by what you could say those that in­vest in the pub­li­ca­tion, those that have like many of us also come to be­lieve that the only surf­ing is short board­ing. But where did we come from? Take a look at the evo­lu­tion of the surf­board and how over the decades it has mor­phed into what we now ride the most. Do we ig­nore our his­tory, our past? Even the best surfers will ac­knowl­edge that cer­tain de­sign devel­op­ments on say sin­gle fins and twins had their place in cer­tain types of waves, that still can’t be matched by the modern thruster or quad, yet ad­mit­tedly do not of­fer the all-round per­for­mance of our cur­rent stan­dard de­sign. So why not pull out th­ese types of crafts when those con­di­tions are suited? The Hawai­ian surf cul­ture can teach us a lot about surf­ing, our Pa­cific cousins over there on the rock, are sim­ply stoked to be at the beach and im­mersed in the ocean. And many su­per­star short­board surfers I know have stacked in their garage a vast range of surf rid­ing equip­ment which gets loaded into the back of the car de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion and the con­di­tions at the time. Should it be dump­ing on the shore they may throw in a body­board or a hand plane and flip­pers to body­surf, should it be long peel­ing run­ners they strap a long­board to the roof and throw a twin fin fish in the back of their ute for mo­men­tum down the line. If it’s a 2-6 foot beach break in goes the short­board and if its pip­ing pits then in goes a semi gun or if big­ger pip­ing pits a full gun 7 foot + and so on. Then there may be days that are blow­ing a gale, they’ll pull out a kite­board or per­haps even a wind­surfer, and surf the hell out of this mushy bro­ken up surf. Per­haps an open ocean swell is run­ning down the coast which doesn’t of­fer the nec­es­sary an­gle to pro­vide in shore surf, they take to the open ocean in the out­rig­ger ca­noe or the hy­dro­foil and ‘SURF’ th­ese open ocean swells. I mean surely par­tak­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties such as th­ese ex­am­ples while they may not be the norm to you, they sure as hell are bet­ter op­tions than sit­ting on the couch back home watch­ing the Ki­wis get whopped. So, this sum­mer, what­ever you find laps the shore in front of you dur­ing your time off work, hol­i­days and ad­ven­tures. Take a look at that surf and ask your­self, how would I best ap­proach th­ese con­di­tions to max­imise my ex­pe­ri­ence. If you reach for the sin­gle or twin fin for a trim and glide hand jive ses­sion, no you’re not a hip­ster. If you pull out the dust gath­er­ing long­board from un­der the shed, no you’re not a greedy wank on plank, you’re all surfers and this is surf­ing! Get Amongst it. Have an epic fes­tive sea­son, surf hard no mat­ter what you’re rid­ing. Yours in Surf­ing , Cory Scott and the Team at NZ Surf­ing Mag

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