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Back To The Beaches

Photography by CPL

There’s no doubt about it, the Tasman has been alive with relentless WSW swells. Most of the time it’s too big and unmanageable for the Auckland beaches. They cop every ounce of energy out of the Southern Ocean. It’s often said: “Mate we spend most of the time waiting for the surf to drop”.

A little break in size over the last few weeks, combined with a run of NE-E winds, was more than welcomed out at Piha. No chasing shelter in the far north, or runs down to the fabled points further south. The crew picked the eyes out of it and not one combo of wind, tide and sand went to waste.

Surfline photographer and Piha resident CPL had just purchased some sparkling new camera equipment and was frothing to point it at the ocean whenever he could. We checked in to see how the waves have been and what he’s captured over the past week and a bit.

“Low tide drainer at North Piha, while the Bar bank has been nailed with all the winter swells, there’s new holes and rips creating waves.”

CPL: “With so much swell activity this winter, the chances of there being any banks along the open beaches of Auckland was super dicey. But on the lower tides there were some surprisingly good, if not great moments. 

“Piha’s Keyhole Boardriders held their first club competition of the year, an unusual hiatus created by the cyclone in early February. A lot of the club’s members were heads down for months helping with the community rebuild. The added combination of beach car park closures and road access made the task of running a competition just a little too hard for Keyhole. 

“A club day was long overdue and Saturday presented a perfect opportunity to bring everyone together. It was sunny and offshore all day, the BBQ was blasting and banter came in thick and fast. The surf was nearly as good as the yarns, Liam Joyce scoring a 10 by getting tubed right across the middle of South Piha.”

“It seems words like healing and caring get used a lot around Piha in the wake of February. Saturday was that for Keyhole, a restart, a reminder of how good comp days are for the soul, heats aside, it is the community spirit, the reconnection with the crew.”

“All style, Liam Joyce pleasing himself and the crew back on the beach with some epic surfing”

“Piha resident Jay Piper Healion taking a mental health day to capitalise on the run of offshores.”

“Local legend Clive Barron, super stoked on getting a few days on the open beaches.”

“In contrast, perfect waves come and the slips keep on slipping. The south end of Piha remains cordoned off and the houses red stickered. The owners still don’t know if they’ll be able to return. A reminder of Cyclone Gabrielle’s decimation.”

Up on the northeast coast will remain a little wave starved this weekend but there’s plenty of waves around the rest of the country. Tune in to the forecasts: Auckland West | Raglan | Taranaki | Wellington | Gisborne | Hawkes Bay | Christchurch | Dunedin


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