There is no doubting that Piha local Elliot Paerata-Reid is on a performance surge right now. His 2018 Indonesian season was sensational in and out of competition, but the Mega Swell of late July saw him paddling into some of the most intense waves ever witnessed at his favourite Indo haunt: Nias.

Elliot first visited Nias 10 years ago.

“That seems pretty crazy now,” he said reflecting on where that time had gone. “It’s a magical wave that I can’t get enough of. I have a lot of good friends who live there as well which makes life a bit easier in the lineup.”

“When I nose dived the impact from hitting the water knocked me out. I came to when I hit the reef. I ended up swallowing a lot of water, being washed way down the point, both ears ringing, seeing stars and with a few nasty cuts. Seeing the ocean when it’s like that is so humbling. Being face-to-face with waves carrying that much energy is hard to explain unless you are there, but it was by far the most scared I’ve ever been.”

Elliot Paerata-Reid

In late July the Mega Swell poured into every nook and cranny of Indonesia’s coast. It turned Nias into one of the heaviest waves on the planet. Very few people were able to get into waves, most didn’t want to go anywhere near it. Even big wave surfers who had descended on Indo for the swell event questioned whether Nias was even paddleable that day.

“I had only been out there for about 10 minutes,” recalls Elliot, who went viral after paddling in to one of the bigger waves of the day. “I just wanted to go on one straight away, because I feel like if you wait too long in big scary surf you can start to over think it. That big double up came and no one really wanted it so I just swung around and gave it a go. I remember paddling in and instead of having forward momentum it felt like I was being pulled backwards up the face.”

“When I nose dived the impact from hitting the water knocked me out. I came to when I hit the reef,” Elliot recalls with a shake of his head. “I ended up swallowing a lot of water, being washed way down the point, both ears ringing, seeing stars and with a few nasty cuts. My fin box also blew out of my board. Seeing the ocean when it’s like that is so humbling. Being face-to-face with waves carrying that much energy is hard to explain unless you are there, but it was by far the most scared I’ve ever been.”

For 2019, Elliot will campaign a full World Qualifying Series season, but is yet undecided as to which ones he’ll focus on.

“I am going to play it by ear with what comps I do,” he shares. “The Indo season is definitely at the top of my list, though. It’s close, cheap and the waves are amazing! Not to mention the food is unreal. What more do you want?”

Grab a coffee, kick back and watch as EPR shows why the state of New Zealand surfing is in such good hands.

Talent: Elliot Paerata-Reid
Filmed by:
Carlo Coral
Lachlan Mckinnon
Damon Meade
Jemarl Paerata
Shannon Mackie
Edited by Shannon Mackie

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We Rank The 10 Best Surfers In New Zealand Right Now - New Zealand Surf Journal March 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm

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