THE HOME COM­ING TOUR

It’s no se­cret across the globe that New Zealand is a mag­i­cal place, full of stun­ning scenery and friendly as peo­ple, and when it comes to surf­ing, un­touched, un­crowded iso­lated waves set in a back­drop of­ten com­pared to Never Never Land.

New Zealand Surfing - - News - Words and im­ages by Cory

As Ki­wis we are a proud na­tion of peo­ple, that hold our coun­try of birth in high re­gard re­gard­less of where life will take us. And for many of our coun­try men and women who just so hap­pen to have wound up work­ing, liv­ing or grow­ing up else­where on the planet, there isn’t a day that goes by that they aren’t think­ing about the lifestyle back home or boast­ing of how great the Land of The Long White Cloud is! Of­ten claim­ing to friends and col­leagues that “We should do a trip home one day and you can see all the epic places and meet all my epic friends and fam.” Well that’s ex­actly the kind of prompt that saw kiwi lad Coby Perkovich throw to­gether a lit­tle ‘Home­com­ing Tour’ and in­vite a few friends along for the ride to his birth­place and NZ surf hotspot Taranaki or Tar­adise as they so rightly re­fer to it lo­cally. We fea­tured Coby in a recent is­sue where we pro­filed his life from grow­ing up in Taranaki to head­ing over to the Gold Coast like so many other Ki­wis. And if you’ve checked in to any surf me­dia in the world in recent times you’d re­alise that Coby is be­ing touted as one of the most ex­cit­ing free surfers in the world, spe­cial­is­ing in aerial surf­ing and re­leas­ing video clips in as­so­ci­a­tion with his spon­sors to show­case his surf­ing prow­ess. Part of these film projects fo­cusses on the life of Coby and his story, so af­ter beat­ing on for years to his surf­ing bro’s in OZ, all about how epic the Taranaki coast­line is, he man­aged to twist the arm of an­other high pro­file free surfer in Chippa Wil­son along with a few other mates and boarded a plane bound for Auck­land and ’The Home­com­ing Tour’. While the nu­mer­ous va­ri­ety of surf breaks that pep­per the Taranaki coast­line were the tar­get, head­ing south en­route,

it would have been rude to not whip in for a bit of Raglan ac­tion, yet the boys timed their ar­rival with the week­end crowds and while it was enough to wet the ap­petite of NZ surf, the lads all looked for­ward to scor­ing lesser pop­u­lated line­ups down in the Naki.

You’ve heard it all be­fore but ev­ery tourist you meet can’t off­load enough su­perla­tives to de­scribe the scenery en­coun­tered dur­ing an Aotearoa trip and for Coby’s crew of which some were NZ vir­gins the sights of our land had them mes­merised

“I’ve al­ways loved the scenery that NZ shows and just how you can eas­ily get stuck star­ing at the hills and streams when­ever you drive any­where, which is some­thing the boys all loved. To re­turn to the place where I was born and surf all the spots I spent heaps of time at with my dad when I was younger and share these with my mates and cap­ture this jour­ney for an up­com­ing clip which will hope­fully paint a pic­ture about my­self and where it all started for me”.

As soon as the lads rolled into New Ply­mouth Coby be­gan to feel like he was back in a spe­cial place, he had spent many years grow­ing up in the Gold Coast but dur­ing the first few min­utes of pulling into he was al­ready run­ning into child­hood mates “Once we got into New Ply­mouth I told the boys to pop down Beach St to check Fitz. So we ran up the lit­tle hill to check the waves and a cou­ple of lo­cal guys had their cars up the top and I was look­ing at one guy and we both recog­nised each other, it was Dada from Sea­sons who has known me since I was born, so it was great to catch up and chat about how nice it was to be back and how it hasn’t changed at all which is awe­some and one rea­son NZ still is one of the best places to come for surf trips as ev­ery­thing is so un­touched.”

With a healthy forecast of off­shore winds and plenty of ground swell on the cards the lads were al­ready throw­ing down some pre­de­ter­mined plans of what breaks would be surfed and when, what they didn’t know is that mas­sive vol­canic cone of a moun­tain

that stands over the re­gion known as Mt Taranaki usu­ally has the say in the weather in these parts and can twist and turn the pre­vail­ing winds which­ever di­rec­tion he chooses. I say ‘He’ as in Maori leg­end Taranaki once lived in­land along­side the other Moun­tain Gods Ton­gariro, Ngau­ruhoe and Ruapehu be­fore a gi­gan­tic love fu­elled bat­tle broke out and Taranaki feel­ing heart­bro­ken and raged took off in the di­rec­tion of the set­ting sun and while rest­ing at the edge of Aotearoa was snared and trapped by the Pouakai Ranges in the place he now rests. He alone still till this day messes with the winds and feel­ings of lo­cal surfers, turn­ing off­shore winds on­shore and bend­ing and twist­ing the breeze up and down this coast­line.

So, pulling up at one spot to find the east­erly was now northerly, no prob­lem, just head fur­ther down the coast where it would be off­shore only to find the northerly down there was bent into a south­east. So, with Taranaki play­ing with our emo­tions and af­ter nav­i­gat­ing ev­ery road that runs off Surf High­way 45 search­ing for op­tions, a per­fect Aframe peak was spied at the end of a short gravel pot­hole filled road, sound fa­mil­iar? With both goofy and nat­u­ral footed surfers in the mix the per­fectly groomed set-up had all the lads foam­ing, not only that, they had it to them­selves! This was just as Coby re­mem­bered epic waves with no one around and he couldn’t help but com­pare to his surf­ing life back in the Gold Coast.

“I love it here com­pared to home where it gets so hard to surf with only a few guys out, I con­stantly find my­self driv­ing down the coast to get away from the GC mad­ness, but over here you just have to go down next road or around the next corner”.

And that’s ex­actly what the lads did through­out their stay, shuf­fling in be­tween point breaks, punchy beach breaks and work­ing the winds and ti­dal shifts to score the gems of Tar­adise. Un­til the Home­com­ing se­quel, we’re sure the boys will be back!

BE­LOW: The green green grasses, bushes and trees of home. Coby in­tro­duces his team to the kiwi style of surf ad­ven­tures.

"So Chippa brother, this is where I grew up! Pretty sick ha!" - Coby stoked to show Chippa around the place where it all started for him.

RIGHT: Be­ing based in a the Gold Coast with sand bot­tom right points on tap, Coby was foam­ing to get out on this left as soon as he laid eyes on the setup.

ABOVE: Surf High­way 45 op­tions which­ever way you pre­fer to go.

BE­LOW: Coby and his bros found the punchy beach break of Fitzroy much to their lik­ing.

LEFT: Coby nav­i­gat­ing the rugged coast­line of his birth­place, a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to white sand and board­shorts laps at Snap­per.

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