Mid-Winter Surf Trip
6th July - 11th July 2020
July in New Zealand is not the warmest, but a road trip north and good company makes for an amazing time nevertheless. With the boot packed and our boards strapped to the roof, we set off from Auckland. We didn’t have a plan, we just followed the swell and our noses, leading us to the beautiful coast of Ahipara. Shipwreck’s Bay was small, but we were glad to just be in the water anyway. Tyla, Pepi, and I took turns on Tyla’s brand new log - lilac and graceful. As if Ahipara was not enough, the next day, we decided to mission even further north to Waipapakauri. We parked the car and ran over the sand dunes, eager to see the conditions. The west coast had turned it on for us: wetsuits, boards, leg ropes, go. We had a wonderful morning dancing on the waves. My numb toes somehow gripped to the malibu as it drew lines in the green face. “Whoop”s and “oh yeah!”s sang from behind the waves as I jumped off my board and dove into the biting water. Once the tide got too high, we warmed up with 2 minute noodles and fluffy socks. We drove to Bidz Takeaways with the heater on full and had a hot pie each. That afternoon, Shippy’s was pumping so we decided to shimmy into our cold wetsuits and paddle out. We were the only ones there, and some nice 3ft faces began rolling in along the rocky coastline. Warm rain began falling all around us as a shadow fell on the native trees. An old fisherman and his granddaughter rumbled past us on a quad bike as they drove around the point, buckets rattling. Suddenly, the clouds opened up above the hills - golden beams of sun lighting up the ferns - and an end-to-end rainbow emerged. We all paddled into a wave together, yelling, “party wave!”, and giggled as we rode and slipped and fell together under the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Surfing with your best friends is one of the greatest gifts.