Delivering magic, merchants of joy, throwing smiles on dials, there’s really no other way to describe the service delivered by Aotearoa Surf. While the business sector slots into ‘surf, paddleboard and kayak lessons’, the experience is much more.
Aotearoa Surf is a true pioneering school, one of the oldest in NZ. Founder and much-loved local surfer, Wayne ‘Dolphin’ Glover started the business in the early 2000s, creating a legacy until he passed away in 2014. Che Burnett purchased the business in 2015 and has kept the vision alive. “Hundreds of people experienced the love and lesson of surfing from Wayne and we’re carrying this on. Today there are heaps of kids out in the water. Everyone will stand up and have a whole lot of fun, but they’ll also learn about safety in the ocean and they’ll sleep well tonight,” Che said.
The headquarters are mostly at Te Arai Beach, but Aotearoa Surf is also fully mobile – often spotted as far south as Orewa, and right up to Ruakaka. Having the sole license to operate from Te Arai Beach gives Che and his coaches an edge. Given Te Arai is the number one of east coast surf breaks in the Auckland Region. Just an hour north of Auckland, and on any given day the stunning beach always has waves for all ages and stages. Such flexibility works well for providing tailored services across the board (pun intended!) including group, family and private lessons, holiday programmes, after school lessons, corporate events, an all-ladies surfing club, NCEA credits, even gear hire or buy.
Behind the brand are eight coaches, five of which come highly qualified and stacked with surfing accolades. Three, younger crew are simply waiting on age to allow them the full greenlight. Beach safety is paramount and Che is proud of the team around him. “We are constantly improving what we’re doing, staff training and customer feedback are our foundation – we’ve got to be buttoned-up. Our team are fantastic at what they do.”
It’s okay to have job-envy right now, most of us don’t have an office at the beach, or change lives one wave at a time. But Che reckons it’s not all sand and surf, “It’s really important to give back. Our local ‘have a go’ days are completely free, with board giveaways, trophies and good times.”
Ka pai Aotearoa Surf – keep weaving your magic.