New Zealand will welcome in summer this year with our first National Surfing Day, to be celebrated on the Sunday the 1st of December, the official start of summer. The celebration will take place around the country, with our 145,000 surfers encouraged to hit the water at any beach they desire to mark the day.
The objective is to get out into the ocean and enjoy it the best way everyone knows how. That may be at a remote beach, with friends and family or with complete strangers. Surfers are encouraged to introduce someone new to the sport as well and show them the powerful attraction of the ocean environment and riding waves.
Summer is a time when the coastal waters of New Zealand are bustling with action. For most people, the longer days mean more of a chance to get out and have a surf before or after work or double up with a couple of surfs on weekend days. Approximately fourteen million surfing sessions take place annually in New Zealand. Over a third of surf sessions or 4,800,000 sessions take place during the three months of summer when surfers capitalise on the warmer water and air temperatures, as well as longer daylight hours.
“Nearly five million surf sessions over the summer season is a lot of water time” says Surfing New Zealand CEO Greg Townsend. “With the increased focus on water, it is timely to remind everyone to be safe, respect the ocean and of course protect yourself from the harsh New Zealand sun by wearing sun proof equipment and regularly applying sunscreen” he added.
Surf safety comes by way of surfing with friends or others and looking out for each other while surfing, giving each other room while on waves and while paddling out through the line-up to avoid collisions. Also surfing within your limits and understanding what the tides and ocean are doing by assessing conditions prior to entering the water.
For beginners wanting to give surfing a go, Surfing New Zealand accredited Surf Schools will offer discounted surf lessons on National Surfing Day. Money raised from the lessons will be donated to charity. The recipient charity will be determined by the New Zealand surfing community via a poll on the Surfing New Zealand Facebook page.
Surfing New Zealand’s network of boardrider clubs will use the day to gather at their local beach or clubrooms where they will run events, drive membership, conduct beach clean ups and introduce friends and family to the sport we all love. So make sure you get along and join in on the fun.
With surfing being a highly social activity, everyone can share their own tales of how they celebrated the day by using the #nationalsurfingday hash tag and joining in on the fun through social media.
For those in the Auckland region, Sustainable Coastlines is running a beach-up at stunning West Coast surf spot, Piha, on Sunday 1 December. Find out more and get involved here.
Above photo thanks to Photo CPL Media, www.photocpl.co.nz