by Ben Herrgott
My regular Kiwi adventures started as they do for most Aussies: Fly to the South Island. Snowboard for ten days. Fly back home. Never realise the bountiful water wonderland you are missing.
This is my story of Kiwi Luck: A Surf Trip to New Zealand.
That was until I was tempted by the German traveling style: rent a massive camper van and cruise the South Island, with an extra couple of days tacked on the North Island, too (I actually rented a pissy little Wicked camper…and it was awesome). Then New Zealand somehow became a complete different country in my eyes.
It already felt like heaven – it has to be one of the coolest, most naturally beautiful places on earth – but it became the mother of all paradises…nirvana for the surfer, traveller, outdoorsman, adventurer. Why? Because I finally came across it’s vast and varied coastline, and like what one of my “cuzzi bros” once told me:
“the best thing that happened to NZ is that the Aussies discovered Bali!”
To put it simply, in all my New Zealand surf trips that followed, I have only ever surfed once or twice with more than five people out, at Raglan and Piha, and even then, the vibe in the water was comparable to when you rock up to a good old house party: everyone chats, cracks jokes and is here to share the good times and, in that case, the countless world-class rides.
The downside of surfing in New Zealand? You will have to pack a wetsuit on your surf trip at most times of the year. Yes, it is cold…on land and in the water. The further South you venture, the colder it gets (that’s usually how it works in this half of the world:).
A few not-so-professional photos are the only proof of my last mission to <somewhere> on the North Island where we encountered numerous sucky beach breaks, powerful point breaks, hollow reef breaks…and only a few old sea-dogs in sight.