Monday, December 5, 2011


This little clip is tells of what really happens at Shipsterns when it's big, expect gnarly wipeouts

shipsterns from Dave otto on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This is just a quick blog and won't have all the shots I want to put up as time is running out as I have a 2 day drive ahead of me to the south island for a work transfer to quake city(Christchurch), more on that in another blog. Anyway I managed to get a week of work and scramble to Teahupoo for my first visit. what an awesome place,  a true heaven on earth apart from the extremly hungry for pale skin mosquitos! I absolutely loved the place, so here's a couple of pics and my apologies for making it a bit rush repacking but will post more up in the coming days
Bon voyage

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NZ's biggest environmental disaster

Well how the hell did this happen? A reef known internationally before the 2nd world war, a reef tha'ts been used for diving, fishing decades and a reef I was flamn' hoping for a bit of big wave photography during the tropical cyclone season. It sits around 18km's off the Mount and only a few km's off Motiti island, so if a ship has to avoid an Island surely it would've known about the reef. With sonar eaquipment onboard and pre mapped out course in the ships computer to avoid the reef you just have to wonder was it an insurance job? A reef close to land so emergency services wouldn't too far away , quite a few empty containers onboard and not a huge amount of oil to lose money on you just have to wonder, insurance job or not?
  No matter what it shouldn't have bloody well happened. The bird life, fish, penquins, seals in the area are all going to be heavily affected, already dead oil covered birds and fish have turned up on the shores. And it's probably not just oil either, there could be substances on board classed as R29 which is hazardous material that reacts with water, what the hell that'll do is anyone's guess. You can't blame the government for it, it wasn;t there fault but surely a little more could have been done to stop the sludge reaching our shores.
  I just heard they can't even determine what the birds are that are washing up dead and covered in oil, everything in the sea and everybody that has something to do with the sea are going to be affected which brings me to my next bit, being back in NZ for 10 months and having not a great success seeing big heavy waves I was really looking forward to this tropical cyclone season to head out and explore Astrolabe reef and others not far away which are now indefinately out of bounds, I'm pretty pissed off and my heart goes out to those who are going to be affected by this environmental disaster.
  My parents have retired at Papamoa and they enjoy there daily morning walk down the beach, I can't imagine they'll be able to set foot on sand for a while now. All the holiday makers that bring much needed spending to the little shops and fruit markets in the area and also enjoy the golden sand and surf will almost cease for the summer, it's a snowball affect.
What do you do...

The reef

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A small dream come true

  I've been fiddling around with a logo for well over a year, finally I have a logo I am stoked with and hopefully you guys will be too. Maybe some day it might end up on clothing as this is something I'd really like to give a go at but for the moment it will be proudly on my photos. The logo will be stretched and warped to suit various things but here's the base. It's not often you do something and guinely think yup this is the way I want it, there's nothing I want to change about it, cool bananas I say.
  So with some luck I will see some heavy waves in the years to come and take a few shots, thanks Dave for the much needed advice and thanks to you all for following my work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parrty time Irish style

On the way down
Well the game was pretty average from an Irish point of view but when it's like that the entertainment is the spectators. Some of the outfits were so funny with 2 guys pictured below wearing lycra suits in Irish colors and if you look behind them on the left you'll see me in the photo laughing at them. Americans were dressed in there stars and stripes with great pride especially when they scored a well deserved try at the end. Getting in and out of the stadium was a breeze and back into town even easier, maybe Auckland should take a few tips from New Plymouth...
  Once we got to town we went straight to the big tent outside Peggy Gordons and had 1 of the best nights I've ever had in NZ. The Irish educating us Kiwis how to party, not a fight all night, no agro, no one was cursing at the top of there voice when losing a drinking race. The irish were just stoked to be there, smiling, laughing and easing back a few pints enjoying the band that rocked the whole place, it really took me back to the west of Ireland and with all the green around, Irish accents and smoking hot dark haired pale skinned young ladies it felt like I was actually back in the green Isle. The band had so much energy, I would without a doubt go see them again.
   Anyway it was a great weekend, congrats to Ireland for the win and a big congrats to USA for stepping up and playing some great rugby, thanks to all the Irish for a great day and night.

Almost but not quite

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paul Rennick RIP mate

“Hey mate how's it going?”
I replied “Pretty good, nice little swell here”
The young dude sitting on a bar stool outside an Amusement centre looking over my shoulder at the surf repleid back”You Australian mate?” in his best Aussie accent
“No, I'm from New Zealand”
Trying to wind me up the dude replies”You're sure mate, you sound like an Aussie”
“Yes I'm sure, any good surf spots around here?”
  Now he stands up and says”Couldn't tell an Aussie me secret spots now, you sure you're a Kiwi, say 'fish n chips' then” and proceeded to grin that cheeky grin when I said it. Back in 2000 that was my first time I met Paul Rennick, a real character that couldn't pass up a chance for a laugh. That nite we met in the Strand bar and had a good few too many beers exchanging surf stories, over the next 11 years we had some bloody good times.
   He's a bit of eye candy for the ladies. I remember one night in Dublin we were walking out of a pub and he cheekily decided to grab a handful of the young gorgeous woman's cheek that was in front of us, she turned around and looked at me with a huge frown and was about to say something and I said “oh no it wasn't me it was him” pointing to Paul grinning away beside me. Expecting we'd both get a slap, she took one look at Paul, her eyes lit up and she smiled at him and said “Well hello, I'll forgive you if you buy me a drink”!!
Paul lived life, he loved to party and loved the ocean dedicating himself between surfing and kite surfing. He loved his family and help looked after his dad Tony, fundraising was a thing he enjoyed and took great pride in it, always one to help others out. Paul mate we all going to miss you, thanks so much for all the good times, smiles and laughter. You truely made all our lives brighter. You were a big part of my life in Ireland and a huge part of Strandhill life for everyone
RIP mate.

 Emily sent me this great story of Paul and I just had to share it with everyone
 "Hey Aaron, thats a nice tribute. Its so sad, I cant belive it. I was telling my friend about him yesterday, and I told her about one of the first times I met him- I was working in Outer Point, and this fella hobbles in on crutches saying he has a wetsuit he needs fixed.
I was like, oh yeah, no problem, they can patch up a seam pretty quick. He starts taking it out of the bag, first the top half, then a leg, then another leg split open from ankle to hip- he was telling me the guys from the ambulance had cut it up to get it off him when he crashed his kiteboard, even though he was begging them not to ruin his good wetsuit!
I was a bit dubious sending it back, but when they heard his story they decided he deserved a new one! What a character, he'll be missed."

Kasia emailed me this story as well
"Very sad, I still can't believe it. Paul was such a character!
Few years back at one of our kite gatherings in Strand Bar (and probably after few too many drinks) I finally managed to find my "missing" hubby deeply in conversation with guys at the bar. I approached him from behind, gave him a cheeky bum squeeze, put my arms around his waist... and then somebody said - "you know his girlfriend is just around the corner?!" Only then Paul turned around with a cheeky smile!!! It was first time I really met Paul :-) ...

Ken sent this in,
First time I met Paul I was working in Dublin on a building site. It's a long time ago now. It was a Friday morning and I had arrived on the site and getting stuck into work so I could leave early. I had been chatting to him through the day and at break time I was at the van getting something when he comes outside. He spotted the surfboard in the back and came running over," where are you going with that," I thought to myself, who is this joker. I said I was heading for Sligo after lunch for the weekend. With that he was straight in,"I'm going with you, don't leave here without me". We had great craic all the way down and shared many a Friday journey to Sligo while he was living in Dublin. From that day on we where friends. He showed me some secret spots to surf and I convinced him to give kiting ago and sold him his first kite. I'm forever grateful that I can call him a friend. When I heard the news my heart sank a thousand league's. To Tony, his family & Blathin I am truly sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all. To Paul wherever you are I know your dreaming up some crazy idea that will somehow come together. Your friend forever. Kenny

RIP Paul. Sincere condolences to family, friends and all who loved you. My heart goes to Blaithin."
Kite Kasia

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pacific Liquid Storm

Towards the end of the road
   Is it the perfect storm I ask, well the answer to that question would be debated forever so here are a few things to consider. Firt of all how damn lucky we are, how many people from the Chathams, Polynesia, the Americas to Alaska will enjoy this swell smiling from ear to ear as they glide along the long period glassy walls of LIQUID produced by a STORM pasing under good old New Zealand...millions?
   Tahiti was hugely perfectly wrong with waves ridden on the tow day rediculous, beyond belief to say the least. After some mammoth waves rode on Saturday they went back to running the Billabong pro the next 2 days allowing the best surfers in the world to have the wave to themselves with no more than 3 people in the line up, how sweet is that. Kelly took the honors to re claim the lead in the title race, some say he was over scored but really who gives a toss, they just got one of the best barrels in the world to themselves.
   I'm stoked that all this was broadcast on the net live to all who couldn't be there and shared with joy around the world. Now as the swell spreads from Tahiti it will smash into all of the Americas including Hawaii and a shit load of islands inbetween that aren't regurlary documented then onwards to finally gently caress the Alaskan coastline. Think for a second how many miles of coastline the swell will hit? How many breaks known and unknown will be going off, beach breaks, river bars, slabs, reefs, point breaks and how many waves will be ridden by this 1 Liquid Storm...?
   If I find any stories as it hits I will try to post them on this story so keep an eye on this page, and oh you might've figured out by now I'm not anywhere near these waves and maybe you're asking the question why am I'm posting all this,,,the luv, passion of it and to keep me alive inside

Clik here for a Puerto shot on magicseaweed

Clik here for surfline's take on the swell

and here for surfline's Puerto experience



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Teahupoo ohh my Teahupoo

Copyright ASP

If things had gone the way they might've I could have been on one of those boats today at Teahupoo witnessing some of the heaviest waves ever surfed there. Unfortunately at all ended weeks ago when I couldn't get a day off work but hey I can't cry about it too long and just have to stay tuned to the net and watch in awe the videos and photos streaming ontot he net  faster than a cheetah on steriods. The last hr facebook has been saturated with shots, surfline has stuff up and youtube's going nuts. Fair balls to everyone surfing it and for me I'm stoked there was such good photographers there like Ted Grambeau and Kirstin Scholtz to record it for all to see. Here is a couple of ahots and vid from the net so far

Clik here for ASP full coverage from yesterdays Tow session

Clik here for ASP photos

Clik here for Surfline photos 

Clik here for Magicseaweed photos

1000 frames per second camera

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Movie of movies

Usually I wouldn't blog about this sorta thing but with excitement still running through my veins I just had to share. I went to see Transformers at the big screen, when I mean big I mean Imax 3D bloody huge. I go to the movies to basically see the impossible made possible which is generally Si Fi, normal movies I feel as though it would look and feel the same on a normal TV so I don't go to the flicks that much.
   I'm not a huge fan of 3D because if you're watching something that's not computer generated it can be as fluid as a mobile phone upload. But this is without a doubt in my mind the most visually stunning movie (apart from surfing movies of course) I have ever seen and seeing it on that massive white tarp Imax just made the experience even more mind blowing, the 3D is astonishing and a long way on from the daft Jaws 3D. I was completely captivated with the movie, at several times ducking for cover as objects seemed to hurtle straight towards me. The Transformers themselves a lot more detailed and the matrix style super slow motion showing that off. The story line was actually an interesting one with twists all the way.

  I left dazed and confused from what was and was not reality, to seperate the 2 just did not compute with what I just saw, so if you want to take my advice go see it in 3D at an Imax is a must for things to do this year, absolutely stunning

Friday, June 24, 2011

Teahupoo's little brother

When I was looking through some shots online from the past week of Teahupoo there was one that stood out, but stood out in a different way. Like i'm sure i've seen a smaller version of this shot somewhere, then it dawned on me, a photo I had taken a few years back of Ferg at Rileys, a place very close to my heart and how lucky I was to be in Ireland when it was being explored. 2 totally different country's, one cold and the other warm, one surfed by every big wave freak in the world the other by just a handful of people but when you look at both these photos there is an uncanny similarity. Obviously not in size but most certainly in shape and definately in power and if you don't believe me just ask the guys who have had broken bones, near knocked themselves out and joints disjointed @ Rileys!

 This Teahupoo shot was on Lairds facebook but it didn't say who the photog was which is a damn shame as it's a great shot, so my apologies to the photographer whoever you are for not crediting you the photo.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The road untravelled

Most weekends I try head off somewhere different, hopefully where there's surf but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Surf or no surf you can still see some beautiful places and beaches in NZ. I think I've done close to 5,000km's the last 4 weekends I've been out and about. A lot more blue skies than I'm used to, getting burnt even in the days close to winter. Here's a couple of shots some roads not usually taken, another frieght train left and so surfable but you'd need a ski to negeotiate the rip and the paddle. It was barreling it nut off, if you look closely you can see people in the foreground considerably smaller than the wave off in the distance...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 17 Shippies overload

Well on the 17th of May 197? my mother brought me into this glorious world, 30 odd years on on the same day Shipsterns has a fit, some of the photogs, film crew, surfers are calling the biggest surfed yet. Biggest or not these guys are feckn nuts, just look at the photos and video in the links below, it will blow you away. I really want to see this place break and take a few shots back with me, bring on next year maybe...

Clik here for "Australian Surfing Life" photos

Clik here for "Surfline" video 

Clik here for "Jamin McLean" footage on vimeo

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Got an email from Paul @ Strandhill surf school saying he wanted to use 1 of my photos to put above his shop. I just got a photo of it and holy shit it's huge, so you could say I'm stoked to say the least. There's no other place in the world I'd rather have one of  my photos displayed. It's amazing how a small coastal town in the west of little old Ireland can change your life forever, simply amazing...
"Welcome to Sligo", hell yeah Strandhill style

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sally Fitzgibbons takes the Subaru Pro Women's ASP

The glorious Mount Taranaki

Event winner Sally Fitzgibbons

Well I would've had these shots out a couple of days ago but I was waiting for a response back from a website and unknown to me the main person is on holiday. It puts me in the spot of do I put them out myself or wait. I think i've waited long enough so here we are, some shots from the Subaru Pro in my backyard of Taranaki. I've tried to put a shot of everyone in here, my apologies to Sally for missing 2 of her heats and not getting the best shot of her.
   Sally Fitzgibbons took her 2nd win in a row and deservedly so. Showing she was serious about wanting this event scoring an impressive 18.45 in the 1st round, continuing onto a score of 19 in round 3 getting a near perfect 9.75 in the process. The dropping tide on the Saturday gave for extremly testing conditions creating a horrendous rip just as Kiwi and Taranaki local Paige Hareb entered the water for her quarter final against Coco Ho. The rip so bad no waves were had in the first half of the heat causing the judges to call for a restart. Unfortunately for the local supporters Paige did not proceed any further but she definately did put up a good fight in the frustrating rip. Coco then got knocked out in her semi by event winner Sally Fitzgibbons.
  Carissa Moore who was leading the ASP rankings up to this event came up against Fitzgibbons in the final, unfortunatley for Moore the waves just did not come her way. This event has set the stage for the rest of the season with only 50 points seperating Fitzgibbons and Moore. It was a fantastic event, the waves were a bit small but the surfing more than made up for it, hey at least it wasn't howling onshore and pissing down!
  Here's my results...
 -Tube of the comp went to Tyler Wright for her pre-comp barrel on a smoking right
Best floater - Paige Hareb on a bit of a sucky wave, I'm pretty sure she had a big grin after she made it
Best wave - Carrisa Moore taking apart a near 6ft wave
Best tail slide - Kiwi Sarah Mason for really pulling the tail around on nearly every turn
Cutback - Chelsea Hedges for a beautiful fluid cutback
Verticle hit goes to Stephanie Gilmore

Best Karate kick - Alana Blanchard during a warm up with good mate Laura Enever
Brightest wetsuit - the outrageous pink/orange suit of Laura Enever's

And last but not least, biggest smile goes to of course Sally Fitzgibbons
Alana Blanchard

Carissa Moore

Claire Bevilacqua
Coco Ho

Courtney Conlogue

Jessi Miley-Dyer

Melanie Bartels

Paige Hareb
Pauline Ado

Rebecca Woods

Rebecca Woods

Silvana Lima

Sofia Mulanovich

Tyler Wright
  Cheers girls for an entertaining few days, it was an absolute pleasure and honor in photographing everyone. Good luck with the rest of the season and I hope yas score some pumping waves.