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History of Piha Surf Life Saving Club

Posted by SC Comments Off on History of Piha Surf Life Saving Club

Piha was the first surf club on the West Coast, started in 1934 by a group of five young men from Waitemata Rugby Club, who had started coming to Piha when one built a bach. In the first few years, these energetic young clubbies built a surf club, imported a surf boat from Sydney, and introduced surf skis as rescue craft.

Club colours are red for the sunset, green for the bush and black for the iron sands.

The Piha club has always been at the forefront of innovation, introducing the Malibu board,and, with the Auckland parent association, inaugurating the rescue helicopter service (now the Westpac rescue helicopter service) and the jet boat. And the core piece of rescue equipment right through to today, the IRB, was trialled and developed at Piha.

From these beginnings, the club has gone through to be one of the premier clubs in New Zealand, the hope of “big boats” and increasingly a force to be reckoned with in all parts of surf competition.

The club performs more rescues annually than any other club in New Zealand. It is proud of its ground-breaking full-equipped first aid room. As well as patrols from Labour Day to Easter, the surf club offers a restaurant and bar for members and their guests.

It is also the location for the highly successful Piha Rescue televison reality series, now in its seventh series. This fame has been instrumental in attracting greater sponsorship to the club, enabling it to employ paid coaches and improving the club’s success at surf sports.

In 2009 the club celebrated it 75th anniversary with a history written by Sandra Coney, called Piha Guardians of the Iron Sands. This can be purchased at the club, the West Coast Gallery and the Piha Store.

Sandra also wrote this brief history of the club for an upcoming history of surf life saving in New Zealand.  

Short surf club history

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