"Surfed, ate, surfed, drank, slept, surfed, ate, surfed, drank!" - Tim, Hawkes Bay
Piha is a great base for surfing the local area, there are waves here every day and the North East Coast, Coromandel and Raglan are all only 2 1/2 hrs away.
Piha Beach consists of two distinct beaches, South Piha and North Piha with Lion Rock dividing them. Best surfed between 3-6 foot (1- 2.5m), in easterly winds on all tides, is good for surfers of all levels, but when it's big- competent surfers only.
South Piha is the most popular area of the beach and features quality, hollow powerful left and right beach-breaks and a left hand bar break off Camel Rock (or the Beehive) - often good at low tide.
The Ditch - At high tide there can be a rideable reform next to the Pataki Rocks. Just beware of the rip. Lion Rock south side often has fun left and rights.
North Piha features a multitude of shifting beach breaks. Better on a smaller swell 2-6 ft with offshore winds and on all tides. Often a good left or right on the north side of Lion Rock at Old mans -an easy paddle out in the rip though suffers from backwash off the rocks at high tide. You can also find good peaks further up the beach at Helipad, Rivermouth, United and at Caves at the very north end of the beach which has good shelter from strong NE winds.
Other recommended quality surfing beaches nearby are Karekare, Anawhata and Whites. Further afield among others are Te Arai, Forestry, Raglan and Whangamata which are possible as day trips all about 2.5 hours drive from here.
A shortboard and a spare larger board for the bigger days should get you by.
North Island- Summer (Jan -March): Boardies or 3/2 short arm/legs and 3/2 full suit for spring and autumn. Winter (June - Sept): A 3/2 will do in northland but the further south the colder it gets and you'll enjoy a 4×3 fullsuit. Plus hood, gloves and booties just in case.
South Island- Summer: 3×2 fullsuit . Winter: 4×3 fullsuit plus hood, gloves and booties.
Piha Beachstay has a variety of surfboards and wetsuits for hire to guests. Prices range from $25 - $35 and wetsuits are $5- $10. We have mini-mals, longboards and some shorter boards. Surfboards are also available for hire from the two Surf Shops in Piha: Piha Surf Shop and The Lion Rock Surf Shop, see below...
Please contact us here at Piha Beachstay to help arrange surfing lessons. We can pre-arrange lessons during your visit and will provide all the equipment and instruction you will need.
There are several operators offering group lessons and one-on-one surf lessons at Piha including surfboard and wetsuit hire.
Piha Surf School – Phil Wallis - one-on-one and group Piha surf lessons (Beginner to advanced and children)
Ratso's Lion Rock Surf School - 2hr one-on-one and group Piha surf lessons (Beginner to advanced and children)
Rapu Adventures - 'Rapu' which in Maori means ‘to seek’; offer group surf lessons every week from October through to May!
Local Surf Shops:
There are two local surf shops Piha Surf Shop and Lion Rock Surf Shop that both shape, rent and sell surfboards and accessories.
Lion Rock Surf Shop: Ian "Ratso" Buchanen is a local surfer and shaper. They sell new and used surfboards, clothing, wetsuits, wax, legropes and have rental boards and wetsuits. $25 -$35 per day and wetsuits $10. Located next to the Piha General Store in the centre of town. Opening hours during summer 10am - 4pm daily.
Piha Surf Shop: Mike Jolly is a local surfer and shaper and sells new and used boards, clothing, wetsuits, wax, legropes and have rental boards and wetsuits. $25 -$35 per day and wetsuits $10. Located 122 Seaview Road on the way down the hill to Piha. Open year-round when Mike isn't surfing!
HC Surfboards: One of the local areas most popular shapers. Hayden has been in the industry for over ten years. He has worked in some of New Zealand's top factory's, including Hot Buttered, Razor and Primal. Shaping boards under primal for the last five years, has made over a thousand boards. He has been running the APS3000 for them, one of only a handful of guys that can use the software and run the machine in the country. He has shaped boards for some of NZ,s top surfers including Sam (Sanga) Wills, Indian Nick, Troy Hurst, Dwayne Mataa, Scott Bell, Bevan (Napes) Wigg, Nat Barron, Mike Phillips, Tim O'connor, Bruce Johnson, Dave (Adder) Gilbert, Paul (Durry) McMurry , Paul and Joe Morretti, JC Susan, Luke Cederman and AJ Mathews. All off his boards are made from the highest quality craftsmanship and materials, and are all NZ made.