Hi I’m Al Te Moananui, I pretty much live and breathe surfing, and to buy my gear I teach Physical Education and Te Reo Maori for a living. I've been a team rider for Seventhwave for a number of years now, and pretty much tried most of the gear. I surf mostly in Christchurch as I live there now, but I always try and go home to Kaiks as much as possible! I'd have to say my favorite spot is in my home town. I love big waves and barrels, and this spot has both! I love to compete, my favorite comp is the Kaikoura Cold Water Classic and my greatest achievement is coming third at the Melanesian Cup in New Caledonia representing the Aotearoa Indigenous Maori Team.
I surf year round in Christchurch and around the South Island, I need to surf a lot because it’s hard to decide whether to SUP, shortboard or take the mal out. Our water temp gets down to around 8 degree in winter and up to 17 degree in summer, my wetsuit quiver covers a wide range:
“The main factors to consider when surfing at home in Kaikoura through the winter is the offshores in the early mornings and evenings that come off the snow covered mountains, the snow melt from the many rivers, and the strong southerly winds that whip up from the deep south. You need to make sure that the wetsuit you wear is the right equipment and the right brand. That’s why I love the range from Seventh Wave.”
“I really love the flexibility and the warmth of these suits and I know I can really, really push them to the limits in the cold waters of the South Island winter. In summer I wear a range of items depending on the weather. If it’s hot weather, I’ll wear neoprene shorts, and a 0.5mm Titanium Vest, or titanium long leggings and a titanium top. Usually my go to suit from the end of spring through to the beginning of Autumn is my Viper Long Sleeve Spring 2/2. When the temperature drops I wear my titanium leggings and top underneath my 2/2 Spring and I’m toasty through to the beginning of May! From Autumn through winter I would wear either a Max 3/3 Zirconium lined Steamer Chest Zip OR a brand new Max 3/2 with a Hooded Vest over the top. This vest keeps my core warm, allows me to paddle without restriction, and no water goes down my back with the hooded vest over the TOP of my suit!”