Episode 1 of Diaries Downunder for winter 2012 has just dropped. It features none other than Maz Quinn, Diaries own Nick Hyne and Stef Zeestraten on an adventure to tick the box of snowboarding and surfing in one day. And they certainly did it in style! Here’s what Maz had to say about the trip. Photos // Ben Ryan
It all started with me sitting in Sydney airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Bali, not doing much, just playing around on my lappy and this guy comes up to me, “Hey you’re Maz ay? My name’s Rob. I work for this company in New Zealand and Japan. We’re doing this clip for a site called Diariesdownunder.com later in the year. We’re going to fly into the West Coast from Queenstown and surf and snowboard in one day, are you keen on joining us?”
Wow, what a proposal. After checking out the site and confirming that what Rob was saying was legit (have to do that these days), I was frothing, as I had never been into West Coast that far south. Plus snowboarding and surfing in one day? How cool would that be?
After numerous back and forth emails we finally sorted a date for the mish. It was to be during Winterfest in Queenstown. I was going to be down there anyway with Quiksilver doing other things, as Quiksilver was a sponsor of the Slopestyle.
I caught up with the Diariesdownunder guys when I arrived into Queenstown. The trip to the West Coast was the next day. I had my board – everything was ready, except when opening up my board bag I realized that I had forgotten my leg rope. Fark! I’d left it in my car. I quickly dashed downtown just before all the shops shut, asking for a leg rope, in a town that’s land locked. I defiantly got a couple of “Aaay’s?” Finally a store had one left, to my relief.
The night before we left we stayed at Snow Park. It was epic! I’d never stayed up in the snow before, so i was frothing. The apartments were sick, overlooking Snow Park. I even got a night-ride in with no one around. We had the whole park to ourselves. I just surf slashed around while Nick Hyne and Stefan went nuts on the rails.
We were meeting the heli about 100m away from our pad, so we were out there at 7.45am waiting with our surfboards on a snowfield, which was kind of surreal. At eight on the dot the heli came in and blasted us.
The chopper had big pontoons. So two boards went in there, one in the back and the other in front of our legs. It was pretty sick – we were in full snow gear with boots and goggles. We took off to the west with mountains as far as the eye could see; the most epic sight. The heli trip only took 35 minutes, but what a ride. It was unreal coming up to huge peak then seeing the mountains drop down as we were coming up over them. My best heli flight ever!
We came up to one last massive peak and the pilot said, “We’ll see the West Coast after this peak.” We flew up and over then the view went from snow packed peaks to bush and Big Bay in the distance. It was such an epic sight – a huge bay with bush-covered mountains straight down onto the beach. We landed and checked the waves, they were looking pretty av, so the pilot said we would go check the next bay. We came around the corner and what an amazing set up we saw: a full shingle river bar right. The river was coming straight from the Alps though, so we knew that this was going to be freezing.
As we were waiting for the sun to peek over the mountains we lit a fire on this pristine beach to keep warm, with a million dollar view in front of us, while the sun warmed the water a little. We had the full kit: boots, gloves, hood and a 4/3, but the water was actually really warm, warmer than Gizzy. I took the hood off straight away and could have taken the gloves off too, but the waves were sooooo fun – little barrels then sick hack sections. It was the best set up ever, only three of us out there with our ride parked up on the beach.
We surfed for a few hours and could have stayed out all day, but we had to get back to Snow Park for the boarding. I didn’t want to leave, but I’m definitely going back to that place, so unreal, untouched NZ. It is a breath taking part of our country.