That was one of the best SUP wave sessions I have ever had.
After an on-again, off-again few days of checking the forecasts, Chris & I did some late night txting the night before and convinced each other that it would be worth the drive. A few beers talking there maybe...
Into bed at midnight, up again at 6am and on the road - hmmm - why are we doing this? Big windsurf gear and SUPs packed so we were ready for anything, unless it was 4.0 weather. Unlikely.
As we saw the coast after the turnoff near Lake Ferry, we knew for sure that it wasn't a drive in vain, and we'd be hitting the water. You could see swell lines coming in across the bay and white water way out on the point. Woo hoo!
We arrived at Whatarangi and it looked pretty fine - plenty of waves chugging in, walling up and breaking fast. We checked out Dumps and Ning Nongs too - both spots had good swell, and surfers. Whatarangi was empty, so we chose the 'least hassle' option - back to Whatarangi thanks.
For the first hour or so the waves were just endlessly coming through at around head high or bigger, pitching to form that perfect 'almond eye' you see in all the good surf photos. It was super glassy, warm and it was just the two of us out. You couldn't have asked for more.
I was pretty rusty after having not been out in waves on a SUP since October, and it showed! Had my share of dorky takeoffs and smashings, but I finally got into the groove and had some rippers. We weren't waiting around much - it was a case of paddle out, turn around, onto the next wave! Again and again and again. You could get a good 150m ride if you got your line right, looking down the line at this glassy wall. But if you stayed too deep or went too flat on your first turn the wave would wall up and close you out. Ugh.
We ventured down to the Bommie too. That's got attitude, that thing. No prisoners - if you're in the wrong spot it eats you. That was all a bit too hard, so we went back to the perfection of the point break.
By this time the swell had dropped and the sets were more spaced out, but we were shagged so didn't mind waiting a bit longer for waves. At one point, we got lulled into the inside to try to get some smaller ones, then a mungo 6 wave set came in and took us both out. Will we ever learn?
We eventually hit the road, had a greasy feed in Featherston and got back to a cloudless Wellington afternoon.
That's a spot worth going back to.
Have added a video I took last year when we didn't have out SUPs (but should have!) Today's session was not as big as this, but you get an idea of the wave...
Check out Chris' take on things at http://www.sessionlogs.com/spot-7017/Whatarangi-SUP-session-by-chris