Every year in March as the New Zealand summer fades and the storm season approaches, the O’Neill Aotearoa Surf Film Festival has become an annual celebration of surf culture. In order to keep surfers happy across our small coastal communities, we are pleased to announce the launch of the fourth annual Aotearoa Surf Film Festival for 2016 with an open call for film submissions to New Zealand and global surf filmmakers.

The fourth annual ASFF event will commence on February 25th at Totara Street, Mount Maunganui and run through March 2016. In true kiwi style, ASFF takes a curated selection of international surf feature films, documentaries and short films on a summer roadtrip to coastal towns celebrating the best of surf culture, surf cinema and our connection with the environment. Tickets are now available online directly at plus limited door sales on each night. All programming details for each town are provided online.

“Its hard to believe that ASFF is now coming into its fourth year.” Says festival director Nick Stevenson. “Each year the film submissions have got better and better, both in quality of filming and surfing. The screening panel always has a really difficult time cutting the films down to make the festival programming, taking only the very best films. Over the years we have seen some incredible and unexpected stories featured and of course plenty of exceptional surfing. Films that surprise and showcase diversity in our sport is what has been a key driver for the continued audience and filmmaker support that ASFF receives each year”.

For ASFF 2016 the festival team changed up the film competition with an invitation to key surf filmmakers for feature films, and the main festival competition being an open call for short films from global and kiwi surf filmmakers. Invitation feature films include:

Faroes The Outpost Vol 2 (USA) – Ben Weiland
Bear Island (Norway) – Inge Wegge
The Fisherman’s Son (USA/Chile) – Chris Malloy
No Regrets (South Africa) – Jason Hearn

“Each year we like to innovate and add in new elements to the festival. By making the film competition short film only for this year, it creates an even playing field for both amateur and professional surf filmmakers to see what can be achieved in the short format”. Says festival director Nick Stevenson. The ASFF short film competition has a $5,000 prize pool for filmmakers. A new category has also been established to assist local filmmakers with the best New Zealand made film taking away $1,000 cash and a Panasonic GH4 camera kit presented by Panasonic. Film submissions are still open for the short film competition. We encourage surf filmmakers from around the world to enter the festival competition. Submissions close tomorrow Friday, February 5th, 2016. So get your film in now!

Please visit for all entry details. All submitted films will be judging by the festival screening panel of Craig Levers, Gavin Bisman, and Richard Hodder. Award winning films will be announced at the closing of the festival event in Auckland.

In the mean time check out the ASFF Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up to date on all festival announcements.

Festival Launch Event: Mount Maunganui – February 25th – Totara Street

Kicks off at 6:30pm with 2 sessions of surf cinema. Event details over at the event page by clicking here.


Ricardo Christie | Cali Haze

In the haze of Ric’s exit from the Lowers contest we teamed up with RVCA and spent a few days hanging with him while he enjoyed the downtime and a chance to cruise with his family in San Clemente, after some lengthy time apart. Check out the short film and flick the pages of the digital zine for a visual diary documenting a fun week in California.

For the full interview on the past year with Ricardo check out Issue 14 on sale now at your local magazine store now or grab a copy here!

Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool

We’ve all heard the talk before, but this morning Kelly Slater finally revealed his wave pool to the world. Clearly the best one ever created, just hit the play the play button and prepare to have your mind blown by how fun it looks!


In the Summer 2015 issue of DGZ we head South with Chippa Wilson, Eli Steele and Peter Devries in ‘Sea Wolf And The Lion’. We chat with ‘The kid from Mahia’ Ricardo Christie, about his massive year on the world tour. Luke Hynd, Alex Dive and Sean Kettle hit the road to nowhere in the feature article ‘Nil-Destination’. Arctic adventurer Ben Weiland gives us a few tips on traveling ‘Into The Wild’ while Asher Pacey shares his favourite people and places in ‘Under The Influence’. We profile Kiwi designer Alex Smith and talk to him about what it’s like to have worked for almost every label under the sun… Auckland band, New Gum Sarn tell us about their latest album and we talk New Noise with the super smooth, LEISURE. And last but not least, we head to the Island of Rekohu with photographer Rambo Estrada. Where’s that you ask? We don’t quite know either… In Rambo’s own words he says “I took a three hour flight which took me 45 minutes into the future but 50 years back in time”.

Pick it up right now for Christmas with free shipping in NZ by clicking here.

Or subscribe to DGZ for a one year NZ subscription and have issue 14 delivered free! Just click here.


Alex Dive | East Coast Gems

The wave starved East coast of NZ finally received a lovely run of swell last week. Of course Alex Dive was all over it, getting his fix to last another two-month flat spell. Here he his stuffing himself into as many little gems as he can in one day.


Today, with the Internet at our fingertips, seven-day forecasts, swell maps, and wind charts, it is easy to get carried away when it comes to the next blip on the system. It’s Tuesday and you’re already getting calls about the weekend. “Where should we surf? Where should we go? Yeah, I think it will be on. The wind sucks on Sat morning, but then it swings and the period pulses…Geez it’s going to be cooking!”

Then you have four days to dream up visions of how good it is going to be. It is a blessing, but also a burden, that the human psyche is very positive. What I mean is, when you look forward to something, it’s not like you imagine it is going to be shit, do you? So when you have days to build on your imagination it often becomes the case that reality doesn’t live up to the projection of the mind. So what is the answer? How do you set yourself up so you’re not just hit back down?

No expectations.

NILDESTINATION is a long-weekend road trip with Luke Hynd, Alex Dive and Sean Kettle. Bugger all planning—no set destination and no expectations. Escape the real world for a while and discard all expectations about what the waves could or should be like. Anything will be fun. Big thanks to our friends at Dragon Alliance for helping make this possible.

Check out the full story in DGZ Issue 14 on sale December 17th

You can also view the short film by clicking here.