New Zealand's been having a moment, between the screaming onshore and then screaming cross-shore wind, there were times when the surf was groomed enough to take a swing at it -- if you happened to be at one of a handful of beaches facing the right direction.
Northland down through to the Bay Of Plenty has seen one of these types of north-east weather bombs each week for the past three now, they’re a winter staple in New Zealand. This one was the biggest so far. It started with strong winds on Monday, kicking up a solid windswell which peaked through the early hours of Tuesday morning, shifting NE in direction. Buoy numbers were pushing 22ft as the day woke, but a short period combined with strong northerly onshores meant the ocean was pretty dang chaotic.
Spot guide: New Zealand
These big storm swells often generate stoke but for the most part, fail to deliver a surfing fix. You almost need to look at them in a completely different light, enjoy them for what they do offer, and that is often something of novelty. Take Mount Maunganui for example. It has Northwest Rock, situated more on the western side of Mauao, a fickle right hand point (if you can call it that) breaking extremely close to rocks with plenty of surge and tidal effect from the Tauranga harbour entrance. It only breaks once every year or so on huge swells. Tuesday morning was one of those days, creating a bit of local hype for those on the pulse.
Wednesday morning the swell was angling very north and winds were moving around the dial. The Northland and Coromandel coastlines sometimes fare a little better in these systems, their respective coastlines have more beaches favouring a north-west wind. However the fading energy and predominant north in the swell meant that by the time the winds finally came right, the size had almost disappeared in those regions. It’s often a lose-lose situation but pockets of fun waves could be found if you were in the right place at the right time.