Contrasting Coastlines

Photography by Craig “CPL” Levers and Jereme Aubertin.

Just at the right time, Mother Nature made the seasonal shift to winter this week. June 1st is the first official winter day in NZ and it certainly felt like it, with some pretty miserable weather across the country. We also got a pretty rough hand of surfing through the regions. Less than marginal conditions for the eastern side of the North Island and, well, much the same for the west, which is currently ravaged by strong, messy swells and NW winds. You probably all see a lot of blue colors in your favorites bar, indicating bad or very bad ratings.

However, there is always a window between the chaos. It might just be a fleeting glimpse of sunlight that adds a slightly brighter vibe to otherwise awful surf. Or in the case of Piha on Tuesday afternoon, an unexpected NE wind change combined with a few other very rare elements, creating a local delicacy!

Did someone say Kirra? Photo: CPL

Dune Kennings, right place at the right time. Photo: CPL

Our Piha correspondent Craig “CPL” Levers picks up on the story: “It was the shortest of all windows. This swell direction and clean wind are such fleeting rarities. It must be the lowest tides and it is always low above death for only a few hours. I went back to the beach after doing some shopping in town and thought, is that offshore? It wasn’t quite there yet, but it was clearing up quickly.

“Standing in the parking garage is like a badge of honor. Welcome, welcome my friend, you’ve seen what I’ve seen huh. All reason and rationale goes out the door, nothing else matters now. The foam levels in the parking garage are amazing. We are all hectic and purposeful. If non-surfers were there, they would probably laugh at the shared amp. Wash the bigger plate, wet it, and pray silently to get past the guillotine.”

Dune Kennings adds: “So I was on the tool and got a text from CPL, ‘caves is on’. I quickly packed up and shot home to grab some planks and then headed straight to North Piha I got ready without checking, waxed the step-up and ran across the sand dunes to watch crazy Kirra-looking waves peel off the beach.Photo: CPL

“It was one of those days when all the stars align and you have an unforgettable session.” Photo: CPL

Tim Bailey, also very excited to be on the pulse. Photo: CPL

Admire it, by the sounds of things this is a very rare sight. Photo: CPL

It takes a certain kind of surfer to make garbage waves look nice, Kehu Butler is definitely one of that kind. Photo: Aubertin

Then there was the east side the next morning. A stark contrast to Piha, but with some shared firing, a little sunlight, and a driving urge to shred, Te Kehukehu Butler and his younger cousin Taimana Marupo had a blast riding terrible waves. Kehu is gone in Australia competes and surfs most of the year, so he loves to come back home, pick up his younger cousin Tai, and visit some of the beaches where he grew up surfing like a grunt. As Kehu says, “The main beach (Mount Maunganui) is certainly not known for good waves, not even close by, but it’s great exercise for events on the QS. The light NW wind made some nice slopes on the rights in the middle of the beach. The Mount rarely gets good air sections, so Tai and I made the most of that session. †

Taimana Marupo and Te Kehukehu Butler. Photo: Aubertin

Tai loves hanging out with his cousin, he thinks Kehu’s stories about life on tour encourage him to surf hard. Photo: Aubertin

Kehu gets sharper every time he returns from abroad, his success rate this session was quite high. Photos: Aubertin

For most it only takes one wave to make a session, in Kehu’s case he has more than 10 waves to choose from. Photos: Aubertin

To us, Taimana looks like he’s going down the same road as his big cousin. Photos: Aubertin

Fortunately, the weekend promises to offer some nice wind again: North-EastAuckland WestraglanTaranakiBay of Plenty CoromandelGisborne Hawkes BayChristchurchDunedin

#Contrasting #Coastlines

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