Big Cold Surf

The key hole rock splits Aramoana beach.

The key hole rock splits Aramoana beach.

After driving around for about 2 hours and checking 5 spots I drove out to the end of the peninsula to check, what my surf guide described as one of the finest beach breaks in NZ.  I drove through a tiny little beach town at the end of the peninsula and found the break.

Dunedin is a large peninsula that sticks out into the south pacific off the mainland of the south island.  It is a perfect surf set up, exposed directly to the powerful southern storms that grow out of the raging 40’s off Antarctica.  The peninsula, with its multiple sheltered bays and beaches means that no matter what direction the wind is coming from, there is always someplace that is off shore.  The down side is, the water is cold….real cold.  And in the winter months, there is a high likely hood that there will be snow flurries in the air while you catching waves.

The beach I was looking at is called Aramoana. It was big, very big!  A frame, thick barreling waves broke all along the beach getting progressively larger north.  No one was out…I couldn’t believe it.  Imagine having a great Blacks day all to yourself.  I was a little nervous about going out alone, and decided it watch it and hope that a few locals might show up so I could paddle out with someone.

about an hour went by, and a few cars pulled up to check it out and subsequently drive off.  Finally 2 guys decided to brave the paddle out.  I watched them for a bout 30 min, then decided to get in myself.

The paddle out was nasty.  Icy wave and icy wave hit me, on the paddle out.  I took about 10 on the head before I got past the shore break.  By this point the other guys where heading in.  Out by myself I got spooked by a rogue bomb, and decided to head in asap.  Not the most confidence inspiring of all days.  Once I in i took a last look at the beach and could see the swell lined up to the horizon, and out the back massive 25+ foot waves breaking on outer sand banks. Quite a scene.

The next day, I got a call from a few of the guys that surf here, and we decided to head back to the spot that kicked my butt the previous day.  I don’t need to say anymore, I will let the pictures do the talking.  This is Aramoana!

Aramoana Beach Vista

Aramoana Beach Vista

No words to describe.

No words to describe.

Aramoana Barrel

Aramoana Barrel

Ohhhh......

Ohhhh......

The Dream

The Dream

The Dream 2

The Dream 2

The Dream 3

The Dream 3

Showing Size

Showing Size

The Dream 4

The Dream 4

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3 responses to “Big Cold Surf

  1. I surfed Aramoana everyday it was good for 7 months last winter/spring…..by far the most beautiful and amazing place i have ever surfed. The last week I was in NZ aramoana got HUGE and i mean HUUUGEEE. People were Tow-In, while I was paddling for the same waves…some seriously scary shit. Liking the pictures, brings me back to where my heart is…

  2. Thanks for the comment Pat. I’m glad the pics could bring you back for a moment. The day before I took these it was huge as well. There where easily 20-30ft faces breaking on the outer (reefs) (sandbars)? I was on the way inside, trying to surf the beach break and just totally got my ass handed to me. It really is a magical spot.

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