Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through New Zealand’s stunning waves? Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting out, having the right surfing essentials from your local surf shop is key to an unforgettable experience. In this guide, we’ll dive into the top spots to catch waves in New Zealand and explore the must-have gear from your favorite surf shop to make the most of your surfing adventures.

Top Surfing Spots in New Zealand

New Zealand boasts a plethora of world-class surfing destinations, each offering its own unique charm and challenges. From the legendary breaks of Raglan to the rugged coastline of Taranaki, here are some top spots to add to your surfing bucket list:


Known for its long, peeling left-handers, Raglan is a mecca for surfers seeking epic waves and laid-back vibes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, Raglan offers something for everyone, with waves suitable for all skill levels.


Located just a short drive from Auckland, Piha is renowned for its powerful surf shop and stunning black sand beaches. With consistent swells and a variety of breaks, Piha is a favorite among local surfers and international visitors alike.

Mount Maunganui

Nestled at the base of a majestic extinct volcano, Mount Maunganui offers pristine beaches and world-class waves. From the gentle rollers of Main Beach to the challenging breaks off Moturiki Island, Mount Maunganui caters to surfers of all abilities.


Surrounded by dramatic landscapes and rugged coastline, Taranaki is a surfer’s paradise. With numerous breaks scattered along the coast, including the iconic left-hander at Stent Road, Taranaki offers endless opportunities for epic rides.

Essential Surfing Gear

Before hitting the waves, it’s essential to ensure you have the right gear to stay safe and perform at your best. Here are some must-have surfing essentials:


The surfboard you choose can make or break your surfing experience. From longboards for smooth, cruisy rides to shortboards for radical maneuvers, selecting the right board for your skill level and wave conditions is crucial.


New Zealand’s waters can be chilly, even in the warmer months, so a quality wetsuit is essential for staying warm and comfortable in the surf. When choosing a wetsuit, consider factors such as thickness, material, and fit to ensure maximum insulation and flexibility.


A leash is a vital safety accessory that attaches your surfboard to your ankle, preventing it from drifting away if you wipe out. Choose a leash length that matches the size of your board and the wave conditions you’ll be surfing in.


Wax provides the traction you need to stay firmly planted on your board while riding waves. Different waxes are designed for specific water temperatures, so be sure to choose the right wax for the conditions you’ll be surfing in.

Choosing the Right Surfboard

With so many surfboard options available, finding the perfect board can seem overwhelming. Here’s a brief overview of some popular types:


Longboards are characterized by their length (typically 9 feet or longer) and rounded noses. They offer stability and glide, making them ideal for beginners and riders looking to catch smaller waves.


Shortboards are shorter in length (usually 6 to 7 feet) and feature a pointed nose and narrow tail. They are designed for speed and maneuverability, making them suitable for experienced surfers tackling larger, more powerful waves.

Fish boards

Fish boards are wider and shorter than traditional shortboards, with a swallowtail design. They excel in smaller, mushier waves and are favored by surfers looking for a fun, playful ride.

Mini mals

Mini mals, or mini malibus, are a hybrid between longboards and shortboards, offering the stability of a longboard with the maneuverability of a shortboard. They are versatile and forgiving, making them an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Selecting the Perfect Wetsuit

When it comes to wetsuits, choosing the right thickness and style is essential for staying warm and comfortable in the water. Here are some factors to consider:

Thickness guide

Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters and varies depending on water temperature and personal preference. In colder waters, opt for a thicker wetsuit (e.g., 4/3 or 5/4) to provide maximum insulation, while in warmer conditions, a thinner wetsuit (e.g., 3/2 or 2/2) will suffice.

Zipper options

Wetsuits are available with different zipper configurations, including back zips, chest zips, and zip-free designs. Chest zip wetsuits offer superior flexibility and are less prone to flushing, making them ideal for surfing in colder waters.

Material considerations

Neoprene is the most common material used in wetsuit construction, known for its insulation properties and flexibility. Look for high-quality neoprene with features such as sealed seams and thermal lining for enhanced warmth and durability.

Importance of Leashes and Wax

While often overlooked, leashes and wax play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

Leashes for safety

A leash keeps your surfboard attached to you at all times, preventing it from becoming a hazard to yourself and others in the water. Always check your leash before heading out to ensure it’s in good condition and securely attached to your ankle.

Wax for traction

Wax provides the grip you need to maintain control of your board while riding waves. Apply a fresh coat of wax to your board before each session, paying attention to areas where your feet will make contact to ensure maximum traction.

Tips for Beginner Surfers

If you’re new to surfing, getting started can seem daunting. Here are some tips to help you paddle out with confidence:

Start with proper lessons

Investing in surf lessons with a qualified instructor is the fastest and safest way to learn the basics of surfing, including paddling, popping up, and navigating the lineup.

Practice paddling and popping up

Before venturing into the lineup, spend time practicing your paddling technique and perfecting your pop-up on land. Building strength and muscle memory will help you transition smoothly from paddling to riding waves.

Learn about ocean safety

Understanding basic ocean safety principles, such as how to identify rip currents and how to signal for help if needed, is essential for staying safe in the surf. Always respect the power of the ocean and never surf alone in unfamiliar conditions.

Advanced Tips for Experienced Surfers

For experienced surfers looking to take their skills to the next level, here are some advanced tips to help you fine-tune your technique:

Perfecting maneuvers

Focus on refining your turns, cutbacks, and aerials to add style and flair to your surfing. Video analysis and feedback from experienced surfers can help you identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your technique.

Reading wave patterns

Developing the ability to read wave patterns and anticipate changes in swell direction and intensity is essential for positioning yourself for the best rides. Spend time studying the lineup and observing how waves break and reform to improve your wave selection skills.

Equipment maintenance

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your surf equipment is key to extending its lifespan and ensuring optimal performance. Rinse your wetsuit, leash, and board with fresh water after each session, and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent damage.

Sustainable Surfing Practices

As surfers, we have a responsibility to protect the oceans and beaches that bring us so much joy. Here are some tips for practicing sustainable surfing:

Leave no trace

Always pack out what you pack in and dispose of any trash responsibly. Avoid leaving wax residue or broken boards on the beach, and participate in beach clean-ups whenever possible to help keep our coastlines pristine.

Support eco-friendly brands

Choose surf gear made from sustainable materials and produced using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Look for certifications such as Bluesign and Fair Trade to ensure your purchases support ethical and sustainable practices.

Participate in beach clean-ups

Get involved in local beach clean-up initiatives and community-led conservation efforts to help protect our oceans and shorelines for future generations. By taking action together, we can make a positive impact on the health of our marine ecosystems.

Surf Shop Recommendations in New Zealand

Ready to gear up for your next surfing adventure? Here are some top surf shops in New Zealand where you can find everything you need to hit the waves:

  • Surf Shack: Located in Raglan, Surf Shack offers a wide range of surfboards, wetsuits, and accessories for surfers of all ages and abilities. Their friendly staff are passionate about surfing and can provide expert advice to help you find the perfect gear for your needs.
  • Piha Surf Co: Situated in the heart of Piha Beach, Piha Surf Co is a one-stop shop for all your surfing needs. From high-performance shortboards to stylish beachwear, they have everything you need to look and feel your best in the water.
  • Mount Surf Shop: With two locations in Mount Maunganui, Mount Surf Shop is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Their extensive selection of surfboards, wetsuits, and surf accessories caters to surfers of all skill levels, and their knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer expert advice and assistance.
  • Taranaki Surf: Based in New Plymouth, Taranaki Surf is your go-to destination for surf gear and apparel in the Taranaki region. Whether you’re chasing barrels at Stent Road or exploring the hidden gems of the Taranaki coastline, Taranaki Surf has everything you need to make the most of your surfing adventures.


In conclusion, exploring the waves with top surfing essentials is a recipe for unforgettable adventures in New Zealand’s breathtaking coastal landscapes. By choosing the right gear, honing your skills, and practicing sustainable surfing practices, you can experience the thrill of riding waves while respecting and preserving the natural beauty of our oceans and beaches.