© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Surfers making waves at Duke Festival

Lauren Jones
Katie Scotcher
Surfer at Duke Festival
  Fenella Bowater

The Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing hopes to make waves in New Brighton and bring the community together.

The annual festival, which began on the 16th March hosted over 150 of New Zealand’s newest and best surfers.

Organiser Esther Perriam said it’s not just about surfing – it’s about increasing New Brighton pride.

“It’s about supporting and celebrating what’s great about New Brighton” she said.

Despite poor weather conditions, surfers travelled from Levin, Whangerei, Dunedin and across Canterbury to compete.



Myka Black
Myka Black at the Duke Festival of Surfing Fenella Bowater

Up-and-coming Canterbury surfer 13-year old Myka Black said the lack of waves and strong drift made it pretty difficult in the water – but competing in his home turf was an advantage.

“Some of the kids were getting drifted down the beach and I know to stay right next to the pier” Black said. 

Concerts, movie nights and art galleries were also set up and held around the community as part of the festival.

One of the galleries included 150 locally sourced surf boards, with the earliest dating back to 1917. 

The festival was established to commemorate Duke Kahanamoku, who introduced surfing to New Zealand when he arrived in 1915.