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It's the little moments

Well, I'm also hitting thirty this year as it turns out, and in my time I have learnt one thing, and that is that Life is about each and every moment and what you do with it that makes up a lifetime. This story is about a few moments that did just that.

On a crisp November in 1978 in a sleepy little village on the north east coast of NZ there was a family of four settling down in front of an open fire with Fosco the family dog. The family was due a new addition in the next couple of weeks and it was to be a little brother for the two sisters.  I guess the story started well before than, like maybe back in the early sixties when the old man got his first board and wave at a little spot called Wooleys Bay and was hooked for life but this is where my story starts out on that crisp November in 78'

Everyone was kicking back after a day of spring sun down at the beach, Dad had scored some sick little barrels out on the bar and Mum had just about had enough of 9 months of it to say the least. That's when I decided to show up and cause a mad dash to the hospital which was a 35 minute drive in to town and was done in about 20 that night. Born in the waiting room of the hospital I was out, keen as to get going all 9 ponds 8 ounces.  The old man never really pushed me to get into surfing and sitting here with my own son now I understand why. It's something thats in the blood and I think I was destined to enjoy. I remember spending plenty of days at the beach when I was little watching Dad come in form the surf with a beaming smile after scoring some sick shacks on the bar and I can completely understand that feeling now.

When I was 11 I started to get pretty keen on the idea and remember struggling to carry the old 9 ft Atlas single fin down to the beach by myself. I still remember taking off on that first wave getting to my feet for a split second and then whack! Having all 9 feet of it whack me in the back of the head as I went over the falls.  I figured I needed to get on something a bit smaller and at that stage my little family had been completely renovated, Mum wasn't around anymore and I had a new step mum along with two new brothers and an extra sister. My bro's being a little older had already got hooked and were surfing heaps with their mate along the road who just happened to have an old 5'11 Saltwater channel bottom twinny which his old man had picked up years earlier.

After some hardball negotiations I got my hands on it and charged out on to the bar. It wasn't a big day only two maybe three ft but it was clean and the incoming tide was making for some sick little waves. I had shamefully been boogey boarding since my collision with the Atlas so had picked up a bit of an understanding on how the bar worked and grabbed an inside spot with my bros.  As a set approached I turned and paddled hard for my first wave, it was pretty shallow and it jacked off the sand bar and began to pitch, I took the drop on my belly and slowly got to my feet in time to see it barrel off down the line. Being a goofy footer on a fast right hand bar break can make for a challenge that's for sure, but by the end of the day I had it sussed and was able to make that crucial bottom turn to get out on to the face. That was it! I was hooked right there with the Saltwater under my feet and to this day that's where it has stayed although the boards have come and gone it's still the saltwater under there that keeps me charging.

During the weeks and years that followed I was out there every chance with my old man, my bros and mates making memories.

I gave a call to my mates Dad the other day who still lives up home to see if he still has the old twinny and as it turns out he does, but wasn't keen to let it go which I can understand. A board like that has a lot of sentimental value and more than one kid has set their first line on it for sure.

I'm still just as keen to get out there every day if I can but it's a little trickier with a family and not being based right on the beach now days but I can already see it in my 5 year old boys eye, and he like me can see how stoked it makes his old man.

Like I said at the start it's the little moments that make up a lifetime of memories and I've had my share so far with a lot more to come.

Thirty years on from 78 and it's the Saltwater that's still there.

Cheers for the memory!



505 Port Road, Whangamata, New Zealand
Phone / Fax +64 7 865 8666
Email pfm@saltwater.co.nz