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Heritage surfing at Piha 1976

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Heritage surfing at Piha 1976

In 1976 the Amco/Hauraki (Blast from the Past!) National Surfing Champs were held at Piha. Much of it was filmed and this YouTube clip shows you some of the best competition. What’s noticeable is the hair – mostly long – the clothing, including kaftans! – and a style of surfing that is clean, elemental, and largely lacking in the rather mannered, repetitive, points-scoring manoevres of 2011. I particularly enjoyed the guy with the red-tipped board, taking such a loooong, beautiful ride – at one with the wave, not the scoring system.

Who was he? Take a look.


Let me know if you know the answer s_coney@xtra.co.nz

Here’s Part 2. The surf had come up but was clean and powerful and some wonderful surfing ensued. Note the Piha SLSC canoe on the beach by Pakiti. See also Alan Byrne at the prize giving – where? – suspect old Piha surf club with all that blond wood panelling. Take a look at his moustache! Admire the great sound track: Aphrodite’s Child’s strange “Altamont” (“we are the rolling people, the why people….”), Little Feat’s “Kiss it Off”.


This was the first time surfing featured on TV1 sports as bona fide sports coverage. It featured many of the “big names” of NZ surfing in the seventies including Alan Byrne, fresh out of the Air Force and getting back into his stride prior to success at the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii. Australians had also come over to compete, so Byrne beat some of the best.

Producer and Cameraman was Ian Eggleton and Camera/watercam was Roger Lynden.

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