Wait, what? Auckland? How the heck did Auckland beat out cities that are surf meccas, like San Diego (with Trestles so nearby), or Honolulu (it has the North Shore, people!), or Sydney (where surfing is pretty much the national pastime), or some tropical paradise in Indo or Tahiti or Nicaragua or Costa Rica or… well, you get the idea. We know that this is probably contentious for most of you, and we’re prepared for the hail of hate mail we’ll get for writing this post. But first, just hear us out.
Auckland has three things that make surfing there pretty unique - first, it’s got two coasts that are pretty close to each other, but far enough apart that they get slightly different weather, and as we all know, weather is what makes big swells (it doesn’t hurt that this is the sailing capital of the world - as any surfer knows, wind over water, known as fetch, is what creates waves). Second, it’s got infrastructure - beautiful roads, and lots of ‘em - plus basic stuff like good food, nice housing, a good airport, and jobs, so you can actually live there. Third, and this one is pretty important to us - the entire country has a population of only 4.4 million. Think about that for a second - that’s about 43 people for every square mile. And while Auckland might be a bit crowded, the surrounding area is not.
Let’s talk beaches and waves. Piha is a short 45 minute drive from the city center on the West Coast, and is not only breathtakingly beautiful, it’s also got a variety of left and right-hand peaks. If you didn’t want to drive that far, Muriwai and Maori Bay are only 30 minutes away. On the east coast, you’ve got Forestry and Te Arai, which is about an hour north of the city. Finally, if you’re a pro or just want to get barreled, you’ve got Daniels Reef and, of course, if you want to drive (and it’s not really that much of a drive, at about two hours), you can hit up one of the longest lefts in the world at Raglan. Come on - we know that there are cities in the world where you might find a bigger or a heavier wave, but can you really think of one where you can get all of this variety within a short drive?