Salt water: Melting away the stress

Sunday 01 March 2020

Stress is the silent, unspoken disease creeping into workplaces around New Zealand. We’re

increasingly connected to our desks and with mobile computers in our hands it’s hard to switch off.

Gisborne-based real estate agent Stephen Thomson could see this affect those in the rural

community and while there were tools to help them cope, nothing was long term.

“There were seminars and things, but after those would finish, they were left on their own again –

there was nothing after the fact. So I thought, ‘let’s give them something to get off the farms and

away from the stress’. A farmer’s life is in his business, so they need a good excuse to get out and

away from the farm once in a while.”

Stephen started a group called Surfing For Farmers, a once a week get-together for farmers and

those associated with the farming industry to step off the farm and on to the waves.

The sessions were a hit, with on average 35 people a week getting together, having a surf and then

‘chewing the fat’ over a barbecue – as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

“The camaraderie is all part of it – you go home a lot happier than when you turn up.”

Surfing for Farmers has since grown across the coast to Mount Maunganui, where Zespri and

Balance are supporting Stephen’s venture and hosting the regular gatherings on his behalf. They

kicked off in 2019 and are carrying through to the end of March, when autumn hits.

“It’s been building, with one of our recent session bringing about 15 people down It’s open to

anyone who works on the land – dairy, sheep and beef – those working in the horticulture industry

and even rural professionals, like bankers or fertiliser reps.”

Surfing for Farmers

Thursdays, 5.30pm

Check their Facebook page for location details:

Boards and wetsuits provided by Mount Maunganui Surf Academy

BREAKOUT BOX: Surfing – just the cure

If you’ve converted to the church of surfing, or your thinking about dipping you toes in, here’s a few

good reasons to love it:

 Surfing is a particularly good way to keep fit because it is a complete sport. When you surf,

you work out all of your major muscle groups.

 Surfing is a vigorous cardiovascular workout, helping to improve your overall health

condition and protect your heart. We should all be aiming for at least two hours and a half of

aerobic activity every week, and surfing can contribute towards this goal.

 Completement your surf training with a good stretch, such as yoga or Pilates to keep the

joints limber and flexible, and to help prevent injury.

Source: Surfer Today

BREAKOUT BOX: West End Wiggle

Traditional longboarders, if you fancy a slide and some festival vibes, head to Ohope this month for the

inaugural West End Wiggle. A traditional longboard festival, presented by Salt Air Surf, it’s open to all –

there will be heats for open men’s and women’s single fin longboard divisions with sign up and entry fee


paid on the day. And, what better way to finish the day, than with, tacos and live music at Mexican

restaurant Cadera, with a major spot prize to be won from Jordan Griffins Surfboards,

Saturday, March 14

West End Beach, Ohope


$25 entry; enter on the day.