Going Hans Solo / by craig levers


This image is now available as a print HERE

I couldn't believe my bad luck. I rang seven different mates to find a traveling buddy for this mission. The swell maps showed it was going to be on, they all saw it and knew it. But not one of them would press the go button. The problem was they'd all burned their credits and sick leave on Easter Weekend and its swell. There was nothing left in the tank. 

I was going regardless, I was going to be Nigel No Mates for four days. It bothered me, I like sharing the fun of a roady. I couldn't believe 7 from 7 couldn't do it. But I went, solo. 

The destination was a beach that I love as much as Piha. And where it is isn't important, if you know then you know. I'm not quite sure why this stretch of sand has always captivated me. It does indeed tick all the boxes. Beautiful golden sand. A pleasing arc to its shores. Surf. On its day exceptional surf. Great fishing too I'm told. 

I first visited the beach in the late '80's, and since then it has been a semi regular haunt. In 2004 I was in a whisker's breath of buying some land five minutes down the road. I'm still not sure if opting out was the right decision. 


The shot used by Rip Curl in the '90s and the back cover of the book PhotoCPL

Over the years the beach has been kind to me. It yielded a Rip Curl Search image in 1995. For a while in the mid nineties it was the go to for photo shoots and surfs. Dozens of centrefold and feature shots have come from it. The wave quality and water colour being a somewhat valid excuse to make the 5 hour drive. As much as that, it was the adventure, albeit tame, a long drive and then a dash of 4x4-ing down the dunes. Staying in cabins. Being able to not bother other surfers by finding your own peak. 


Been missing this place

In recent years I haven't been able to make the drive so often. Family comes first. But I got to fill my boots once more and rekindle the love affair. For 4 glorious days the swell pumped. It ranged from 3 foot A frames to 6 foot slabs. On out going tides the lefts would pump, on incoming the rights would turn on. 


Get out there fellas!


Options V1


Sand Dredger


Lots of lonely ones went through unridden


Options to the left and right 


Crystalline. You can view this image bigger, and buy a print HERE


Beautiful accident


Low tide left


No One Home. Room available with epic sea views and plenty of space. More than enough room to swing a cat. Prefer Goofy footers but Natural footers should have no problem nestling in either. Owners seldom home. To view this larger and buying options check it out HERE


Pretty sure this must be a quad right? 


Fish eye barrel view


Defo a three fin!


Never mind the mind surfing mate, get out there!


Aussie dingo Murray Antonieff got some of the best ones 


6'3" Alex Long managed to stuff his lanky frame in a couple


Muzza's paddle out


Crystal cylinders for daze. This image can also be viewed larger and bought for your wall HERE



Pretty much a vista you could handle every dawn huh!


The scramble to get that last one before the sun drops, and then you get it, it's good and hollow, it even breaths and spits. The best way to end a day. To view this one larger and purchasing options just click HERE

Being Hans Solo wasn't so bad as it turned out. It's harder to begrudge a solo surfer paddling out onto a peak. I made new friends, had great chats with locals and other roadsters. I ran to my own timetable and only had me to blame for missing out.  

It's Black Friday!!!

death row.jpg

You may remember ...or not... there was a post last month about how absolutely shit Watercare's plan is to nail 10 acres of regenerated native bush in Titirangi. No? Well that post is HERE

I'm thrilled to be walking the talk and be involved in the group exhibition ON DEATH ROW which is opening TONIGHT! You can find out more about the exhibition and the cause HERE

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But also it is the grand finale of the The O'Neill Aotearoa Surf Film Festival
You can book online HERE  

So whatcha gonna do? Do both! 

From The Book Store  


Yeeooowww! The South Seas Book just landed a rave review and feature in the latest Smorgasboarder Magazine! Smorgasboarder is freely available in surfshops throughout New Zealand and Aussie, so landing that much space is pretty damn cool. Check out the South Seas book HERE