surfaotearoa-like you we're here to surf!
Mid Winter Meatworks Session
Southern Waves By JD Daniels Photos: Surfaotearoa
Our first stop south of Dunedin was Balclutha where we stocked up with
groceries at the local supermarket. A quick visit to the bottle store for a few of the
boys led to our first obstacle with Levi. He wanted to buy an energy drink to go
with his lunch. Now the lady behind the counter wasn’t keen to sell him an energy
drink without any ID. Levi who’s 21 years old and knee high to a hobbit didn’t have
his ID on him. It was lost amongst the mess in the back of the van. Big Al T stepped
d up to the counter to do Levi a favour. He offers to buy this non alcoholic energy
drink for Levi! But no, the lovely lady behind the counter won’t sell
it to mild mannered Al cos she’s figured out that if Al buys it, he’s just gonna give
this non alcoholic drink –
that you could buy in any dairy to Levi! So Levi has to go without.
Levi O'Connor Jonny Wardrop Jonny Wardrop
Tom Bracegirdle Tom Bracegirdle Al Temoananui
Al is able to get the beer of his choice and I was more than happy to grab a slab
of bourbon.From Balclutha it was on to the land of waves where we spent the first
three of five days driving up and down the coastline chasing a small swell. There
were plenty of beach breaks to choose from, it didn’t really matter which way the
wind was blowing as there was always somewhere that was offshore.
South Swells at a Southern Mexican Pipe
Lush--Accommodation We were staying in a rented house right on the beach which was pretty lush. While
it was at times in fact most of the time damn freezing outside. We had a log burner
cranked up so that inside it was like the tropics. You could walk round in boardies
and T Shirt. That was just as long as the groms kept carting the fire wood from the
shed to the basket beside the burner. The threat of some highly destructive finger
hold or arm wrench by Al T was enough to keep everyone performing their duties.
Everyone accept Levi that is, whose age alone lifted him well above grom level.
Didn’t Levi just love this status, he too tried to order the groms around at times
enjoying the power trip. Levi seemed to be living a charmed life on this roady – he
always was in the best lounge chair, which was in the best position to see the TV.
He dominated the remote control which had him playing music videos every time the
damn set was turned on. And every time he got up and moved he left a stack of
clothing and shoes about a metre high behind! But Levi’s a funny dude and he got
away with a heap of shit that no one else could have managed to. Finally at one
beach Al decided that he’d had enough and put Levi in some hold until he almost
passed out with pain. He walked round in circles for a couple of minutes
afterwards yelling just how much Al’s hold at hurt him. But it seemed that really it
was only Levi’s pride that had been injured. As soon as he came out of the surf he
was back to his old self, cheeky, forgetful and dominating the best of everything as
only he can get away with!
Above and Below: Tom Bracegirdle
A Gastronomic Delight
The first time I ever came to this area over twenty years ago I’d come across these
so called legendary mutton pies at one of the local General Stores. Now a mutton
pie might be every southern shearer’s dream, every cardiologist’s nightmare and no
doubt a damn warm ‘tuck in’ when the wind is blowing southerly at
200 km’s per hour. But I hadn’t thought about these mutton pies for a hell’ve long
time until there in the back of the pie warmer at the local general store and takeaway
shop sat one very lonely mutton pie. The very instant that I spotted it Al T slammed
his big hand on it! Al reckons that his one eye had locked in
on it like the gun sight in some jet fighter. He knew pretty soon that apart from a
bottle of Speights, and a dozen Bluff oysters, the next best thing to a mutton bird
preserved in a basket of fat is a steaming southern mutton pie which would complete
the local gastronomic cultural experience. In the meantime I had to be content with
some imported Mrs Mac’s mystery bundle that lacked the charm, character and
flavor of a traditional Southern Mutton pie!
Below: Levi O'Connor
Predicted Swell Threatens to Arrive
We knew there was a solid swell coming, cos I’d been logging onto the buoys for
two weeks. The only trouble was – as usual the swell was getting put back a day
every time we’d get close to its day of arrival. After chasing a one metre swell up
and down the coast for several days Al and I decided to go and check the reports
again. We left everyone else fishing for tea and headed to a nearby village where
we knew we could get the internet. This wasn’t something that you could take for
granted, we were staying in an area where there was no cell phone coverage from
any company! After waiting in a queue of two for about five minutes the lovely lady
at the information centre told us that if we drove to a nearby cottage we could hire
the internet there. So Al and I headed off to this place down the road and round
the corner. An old very friendly dude answered the door and cranked up his
ancient looking computer. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers!’
I was thinking as I looked up at the walls of his two room cottage. There were
guns mounted all over the place, western style Winchesters, frames with pistols
in sets, Nazi style lugers, and many others that look equally dangerous and deadly.
There’s even a few knives at various intervals.
The old bloke spies me looking bug eyed at his collection and starts to describe
some of them. He gets about halfway along the first wall and the computer finally
beeped into life. We checked out the buoys at47 Degrees South “ Bloody great!”
says Al –“ it’s gonna hit at midnight tonight!” “And not before time”
I muttered. Eight feet at fourteen seconds looked pretty good to both of us We
thanked the old fella, paid him and headed back to the house, stoked and ready for
tea. There’s no damn fish though only sausages, mashed potato and gravy served
up with two other veges- a solid binder!
That night the wind sounded like there was an express train swooping down out of
the clouds. The house started shaking around midnight, at times it felt as if it was
gonna lift from underneath. Other gusts seemed to
almost blow the place over, it was damn well shaking so much, it must’ve loosened
all the nails. Still I knew that this wind, gale force as it was would be certain to bring
swell, and come morning I wasn’t disappointed
Below; Jonny Wardrop
First light was close to 7am, and I was up checking out the swell. I couldn’t believe
it. All along the beach there were these peaks breaking. Huge peaks like Mexican
Pipe. The further up the beach Ilooked the bigger the sets were but the more side
shore the wind was. Out in front of our house and back towards the local settlement
it was going sick. There were four sandbanks that the swell was lining up on. The
mission was to get the crew out of bed and onto it. Al T didn’tneed any prompting,
the rest of the crew although a little slower at being organized, soon had their
fins on, decks waxed and were paddling out through the channel on each side of a
peak. It wasn’t long before Al had a couple of backside barrels to his name, Jonny
scored a nice little forehand baz and Levi has snapped his favourite stick. Tom
Bracegirdle too has charged into some sizeable lefts while Ben got caught on the
inside getting hammered during his paddle out. This first session
lasted over an hour, the tide wasn’t right but the potential was sure there. I don’t
know how many beaches would rank amongst New Zealand’s best beach breaks
but this would have to be one of them. We withdrew to the house for some lunch,
I won a hundred dollar bet with Levi as to who shaped his best board, the one that
he’d just snapped and we organized the food. That afternoon
the guys surfed along the beach on a better bank, better waves and only a couple
of other locals to share the waves with. This time the waves were even more
perfect with less sections. Big left barrels were easier to make, but the rights
weren’t as hollow. One of the locals tells me that therights could be really good
tomorrow if the offshore wind changes direction slightly – which it was
predicted to do.
The boys threaten to drive to the big smoke of Invercargill that night, of course its
Thursday night and the town will be ‘Party City’! “Filled with university students
with their pockets full of condoms down for the national University games,” smiles
Al T! I can see that such a description and vision gets the boys minds wandering to
the sorts of entertainment that we didn’t come down here for! In my mind I could
also see myself driving around Invercargill trying to gather together a bunch of seedy
surfers while mean while back at this beach the surf is absolutely going off the richter!
“Nah it’s not happening!” I say seemingly with enough authority to kill the testosterone
filled dreams of everyonepresent. The next day the surf is once more looking like
Mexican Pipe, just with an added chill factor thrown in. Probably to make us realize
that we’re not indeed in Mexico. The empty line up, native bush down to the water
line, and surrounding flax bushes were a definite reminder that this was part of the Kiwi
surfing experience we all treasure.
The boys racked up two more surfs that day with some solid barrels going down. The
wind once more picked up to gale force nearly blowing me off the sand hill at one stage.
Now that the swell had arrived we should have been staying for another week! Maybe
next year I think to myself as Jonny pointed his beloved ‘Vanj’ north and we head off
back up the road.
Couple from Kaikoura Below
The classic Rincon
style point offers excellent surf for both
short board surfers and mal riders.
Al T above
Levi and Brekky
Dave Lyons 2
Dave Lyons 3
Dave Lyons 4
Curtis about to snap his favourite stick
Above: Dave Lyons
Below:Al T Sequence
YO Ho Ho
Al Temoananui Above
Dave Lyons 3 in a row
A new spot,
A secret spot
A sick new secret spot!
Check out the issue 109 of Kiwi Surf Mag when more of Mudlucka will be revealed!
Bright Street Seq
Ike Hanson sequence below.
Sam Dunfoy:Above and Left
These first shots are from South Sides and Kahutara. We actually missed some of the better days. One evening we didn't shoot because the light had died. Just as the sun dropped below the mountains, the offshore wind picked up, the swell pulsed and combined with the perfect tide at K a lot of great tubes went down. It often seems to happen that way at Kahutara - the morning session can be raw and fresh and the evening one is renowned for being the best of the day!
left and below managed to snag a few early waves before heading off to work!
Richard Baxter above and dodging daughter Hayley below.
Grimma: Rock Hopping
Jonny Chambers: Manga
Seq: Nick Black
Nat Parsons: Sandfly Bay
Boulder BeachBoulders as it is affectionately known by the Dunedin crew is nestled amongst farmland and faces South East on the Otago Peninsula. Right next door to Sandfly the only thing that could put you off surfing this place is the walk in and out. A farm track leads down to a beach reserve but its a mistake to drive too far down this unless you're in some sort of 4WD monster. In places its so rutted it could fire you over the edge. The waves break best on all tides if the swell is big enough, or not too big as the case may be. When its small the shore break can get particularly hollow!
Taylors Mistake Beach
Paul Barron 1
Paul Barron 2
Paul Barron 3
Paul Barron 4
Hayden Brain 1
Hayden Brain 2
Hayden Brain 3
South Shore Beach