Chasing Storms On The Eastside / by craig levers

You can view this one larger   HERE

You can view this one larger HERE

The message back to Darren, Backdoor's marketing guru, was a firm YES. Yes I'm keen to go storm chasing with the Backdoor team, yep I can meet there, yep I can meet then... wait can we make it earlier and maybe even stay longer? The froth levels were super high, Darren had assembled the A team and the Low spooling off the East coast looked REAL good. 

5am Auckland traffic

5am Auckland traffic

What we hadn't really accounted for in our pre planning was the weather. We had over frothed.

Dawn.... beautiful driving and shooting conditions.

Dawn.... beautiful driving and shooting conditions.

Darren and the crew at stop one... you see a photo of Darren... I see a photo of the Troopy

Darren and the crew at stop one... you see a photo of Darren... I see a photo of the Troopy

The ol' when a wave breaks there, don't be here... Paul Moretti about to embrace the tumble cycle

The ol' when a wave breaks there, don't be here... Paul Moretti about to embrace the tumble cycle

The Low Pressure System was behaving itself and doing exactly what the weather gurus had predicted... we on the other hand and expected faster movement. We were a day too early. When you've been on enough surf missions, there's a mode you learn to adopt. Slow down, micro manage, fill the hours while you wait with meaningless tasks... want lunch? Find a warm cafe and make it last 2 hours. Need to catch up on your texts... write essays to your absent friends. The wind finally swung, the rain did not. 

A rare sighting of the Ceep... but how's the set up, love that $5.00 e-Bay umbrella/tripod bracket!

A rare sighting of the Ceep... but how's the set up, love that $5.00 e-Bay umbrella/tripod bracket!

Matty Hewitt's rain dance

Matty Hewitt's rain dance

Matt, rain dance v2

Matt, rain dance v2

Half the Backdoor team could only stay the day, so job on. We were lead to a perfect option thanks to Daniel Davie, credit where credit's due Dan made a great call, the waves were thick and rifling. 

Dan, absolutely styling it in his own front yard

Dan, absolutely styling it in his own front yard

Taylor Hutchinson perfectly poised

Taylor Hutchinson perfectly poised

Darren Celliers hunting down the hollow ones

Darren Celliers hunting down the hollow ones

Paul Moretti setting the tone for the next few sessions

Paul Moretti setting the tone for the next few sessions

Grom sensation Caleb Cutmore found a few rare open faces

Grom sensation Caleb Cutmore found a few rare open faces

It wasn't pretty, but we got the job done. Taylor, Matt and Darren couldn't stay. I would ague they had a misdirected work ethic. The rest of the team opted to stay, pleading texts were sent to partners and bosses. The rain persisted through the night. Was it going to be a wash out?

Taranaki's Daniel Farr drawing first blood first light

Taranaki's Daniel Farr drawing first blood first light

Klee Dummond as always, on the ones that drain just right

Klee Dummond as always, on the ones that drain just right

Your 7x national champ, our trip captain Billy Stairmand and the one that got away

Your 7x national champ, our trip captain Billy Stairmand and the one that got away

Billy's redemption

Billy's redemption

Daniel Farr charging down in the southern corner

Daniel Farr charging down in the southern corner

Bill with board change [board snap] number 2, the cost of charging

Bill with board change [board snap] number 2, the cost of charging

..and the clear dividend of said charging

..and the clear dividend of said charging

Paul, at the 'this is probably not going end well' moment

Paul, at the 'this is probably not going end well' moment

Again, Paul's dividend

Again, Paul's dividend

Paul...ok at this point there has to be a forewarning ... there's a lot of images of Paul, aka Pablo, aka the Rook. It was his session

Paul...ok at this point there has to be a forewarning ... there's a lot of images of Paul, aka Pablo, aka the Rook. It was his session

Whitianga's own Jay Piper- Healion well locked into cruise mode

Whitianga's own Jay Piper- Healion well locked into cruise mode

Jay in a nugget

Jay in a nugget

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Bill in full flight and steaming for the exit

Bill in full flight and steaming for the exit

Pablo... he just kept finding them

Pablo... he just kept finding them

Not the same wave

Not the same wave

But definitely the last one of an epic session

But definitely the last one of an epic session

Why the last? Well that lip got me pretty good, blew the water housing out of my grip and sent me into a crab dance on the sand. We both came up laughing, and the camera survived

Why the last? Well that lip got me pretty good, blew the water housing out of my grip and sent me into a crab dance on the sand. We both came up laughing, and the camera survived

Thanks has to go to Darren and Hutch from Backdoor Surf for pressing the go button in this team trip, check out Backdoor's social media, Sharp Eyes NZ, Channel Islands NZ and all the lad's Instagram accounts for more of the images. Brodie Jackovich was on hand too videoing, I've seen the rough edit, it's gonna be a sick clip when it drops. 

From The Galleries

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There were lefts too! Big hollow perfect peaks, I've added this one to the Wave Gallery, fricken LOOOVE it. Wanna see it bigger, want it on your wall? Well click here ... and while you're there, there is a like button and sharing options, help a fulla out, share the love :)