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40 Frames: NZ Surf Nats … The Free Surf Sessions

The 2024 New Zealand Surfing Champs is underway in Dunedin right now with a challenging forecast keeping organisers on their toes.

There’s always a lot more to a surf comp than meets the eye. Especially when the swell, wind and tide combination is in a typical summer mode, with swirling winds and diminished swell energy. Thankfully Day 4 saw the judges’ hot box move to Blackhead to take advantage of a bigger northeast and smaller south swell and strengthening offshore winds. Surfers were happy to be in the first decent waves of the contest window.

Like most contests, the arena beyond the competition zone was where the magic was happening. Unfortunately the barrel hunting sessions that transpired on Day 4 also led to Tao Mouldey and Jack McLeod, both breaking their “magic sticks”.

Here are 40 Frames that capture some of the moments from the first four days of the 2024 Nats.

Eight-time national champion, and Olympian, Billy Stairmand, clocking up some tube time. Photo: Derek Morrison
Okay, well this is actually the contest peak for Day 4 … but no takers on this one. Photo: Derek Morrison

Tao Mouldey with his air rev on lock. Photo: Derek Morrison
Ollie Charlesworth on rail on a bowly one. Photo: Derek Morrison
Faces of the 2024 Nats


Dune Kennings sets the fins loose in a free surf. Photo: Derek Morrison
Gabi Paul looking solid in the early rounds before rising longboard star Lucy Macefield won both the Under 18s and Women’s Longboard titles. Photo: Derek Morrison
Will Lockhart looking sharp in the hollow waves. Photo: Derek Morrison
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