Looking down on a different world: New Zealand. Foreword – Some people just can’t sit still for too long. Surf & Adventure Co.’s Shaun Devine is one of those people. Even while at home in Virginia Beach, he’s always on The Pursuit of Happiness; whether it be traveling the surrounding coast in search of fun surf, planning his next international trip, hustling as our surf camp/special events director or helping myself spread the good word of S&A to the masses. Those who know Shaun well know that he is most passionate about taking his show on the road — traveling. Sure, surfing is always at the core of his well-orchestrated excursions; but Shaun is a true citizen of the Earth. The search for adventure and taking in new experiences in foreign lands are what makes him tick. This blog feature, “Full Circle,” is Shaun’s account of his latest trip way down under to New Zealand. So enjoy these special words and images — if you can sit still for long enough. Six years ago in California I met a soft-spoken, humble kid from New Zealand. His name is Basil, and we quickly became friends. One night, he showed me some 4-by-6 photographs of the house and property on which he grew up, as well as a few local surf breaks. I had never seen anything more beautiful in my life. In that exact moment, I decided I would travel to New Zealand to see this land for myself one day. Piha Beach, NZ. Fast-forward through four years of college, commitments and relationships to the spring of 2010. After three months in Australia, I found myself traveling to Dunedin, New Zealand to rendezvous with Basil. After two days in New Zealand I started asking myself why I hadn’t come earlier. Here, there is a special connection between the landscape, environment, people and the ocean. It is rugged, raw, powerful and doesn’t care if you are cold or not. I quickly realized I should have brought some wool socks. When I saw the locals using surf hoodie changing towels in the car parks before and after surfs, I thought they were geniuses. On my last night in New Zealand, we traveled to the north coast of Dunedin and scored the wave that had been in my dreams since Basil first showed me those photos: Murdering Point. The right-hand pointbreak is the kind of wave you travel half-way around the world to score. After that session of chest- to head-high, mechanical rights with barrel sections, there was no question that I would be back. Two weeks was not enough — “I’m coming back for two month,” I promised myself. Fast-forward 1 1/2 years through family commitments, relationships and job opportunities and now I’m back in “The Land of the Long White Cloud.” This time, the journey starts on the North Island in Auckland. The capital city fosters a unique climate of people, architecture and — of course — weather. Auckland, NZ. There are beaches to the east and west, which means chances are the wind is offshore and the waves are fun somewhere close. If the waves are not great there are plenty of other adventures to seek out. The first three days of this trip have been spent surfing Piha Beach in the morning, exploring the surrounding landscape in the afternoon before diving into Auckland’s nightlife. Surf Friends, an awesome band from NZ. Check them out: http://nz.myspace.com/surffriends It’s been a whirlwind. Next stop is Dunedin on the South Island. The scene around Piha Beach, NZ. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.