CY­CLONE-OB­SES­SION

New Zealand Surfing - - News -

Ever since surf­ing found its way into my life I can re­call the sto­ries, hype and myths of cy­clone swells. The older gen­er­a­tion would talk of years gone by of all time ses­sions where these ‘trop­pies’ would sit up near Fiji spi­ralling to­ward NZ and then fade off out into the Pa­cific send­ing long pe­riod lined-up swells fanned by off­shore winds and clear weather that pumped for days on end.

Since those early sto­ries I have ded­i­cated my life to chas­ing swells, and by swells, I mean any; not just cy­clones, South­ern Ocean lows, back of the high swells and even lo­calised storms where you know you will at least get a win­dow of glory if in­deed only short. The al­lure of these South Pa­cific Trop­i­cal Cy­clones that usu­ally down­grade to trop­i­cal storms by the time they reach our wa­ters are that they of­ten spawn high up in the pa­cific is­lands and any swell driven mo­men­tum comes from the northerly quar­ter, wak­ing up many unique and novelty spots around our coast­line, spots that don’t usu­ally see wave ac­tion. Yet of­ten these storm sys­tems bring noth­ing but bad weather and on­shore surf, create flood­ing and weather dam­age to our re­gions, and in my 30 years of chas­ing these myth­i­cal phe­nom­ena’s I can count on one hand the amount of times that a cy­clone has de­liv­ered the type of con­di­tions that we con­stantly as­so­ciate their pre­em­i­nent ar­rival with. The rest, well, they were noth­ing but hype, de­liv­er­ing not much more than the typ­i­cal win­ter storm. On av­er­age there are around 4-5 Trop­i­cal cy­clones or storms per sea­son that make their way into our wa­ters and each time they start to form, the hype-me­ter be­gins to spin, of­ten reach­ing over­load as they in­ten­sify, with plans, hopes and dreams all be­gin­ning to man­i­fest.

Just last week as Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Gita was in the process of rav­aging our Pa­cific cousins, our thoughts and best wishes go out to those af­fected for a speedy re­cov­ery, here in NZ the so­cial me­dia hype-fest was in full ef­fect, with many bold pre­dic­tions and plans be­ing made as to where and when the best surf would go down. What I saw was odd, here we had a full week of clean East Coast swell and at the same time the West Coast was fir­ing, all driven by swells cre­ated by other sys­tems, yet it was as if no one wanted to surf that week, they were so fo­cussed on this im­pend­ing troppy swell that they’d lost their mar­bles, they’d lost it so much that two days be­fore the troppy moved into the Tas­man Sea they’d al­ready been giv­ing props to Gita for a south-west swell out West when it was still high up in the north. And it made me re­alise that in­deed in the past I’d also been so ob­sessed with these type swells that you could say I’d lost my shit! Be­fore dig­i­tal fore­casts were avail­able, I’d see a map and go and park up at my favourite spot for days on end sleep­ing in my car, jeez look­ing back on it I was also free­dom camp­ing. Dur­ing those days other spots would be fir­ing, but they weren’t troppy swells and I’d sit there telling my­self on the in­com­ing push the swell would ar­rive and days later I’d go home with my tail be­tween my legs hav­ing not surfed at all. So, I ask, are we as a coun­try ob­sessed with cy­clone swells and the po­ten­tial they of­fer, that they warp our com­mon sense, that we miss out on per­fectly fine waves in the hunt and search for a day or two of some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent?

Here’s to rid­ing what­ever surf we have in front of us on any given day, stay fo­cussed on the now not the maybe. Yours in Surf­ing Cory Scott & the team at NZ Surf­ing

The kind of waves that were go­ing down while the fo­cus of the masses was on a pos­si­ble cy­clone swell in a weeks time. Photo: Cory

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.