When I first got the email saying I’d won The Listserve, I asked my friends in New Zealand what I should write about.
“Write about us,” Johannes said.
And so here we go.
I met Johannes, Gui, Woonie and Jim and the advertising agency we worked together at in Auckland.
On my first day of work, I was taken on a tour of the office. When we went by Jimbo and Woonie’s desks, the two of them were watching a surfing video. I asked the person giving me a tour to leave me there, and within two weeks we were out surfing the coasts of New Zealand together.
A month or so later, Gui and Johannes started working at our agency, and they joined us for surf missions.
At first, I think it was a friendship of convenience and sympathy: I didn’t have a car at the time, and the other guys saw how badly I wanted to make it out to coast to surf so they gave me a ride.
But you can only spend so many long car rides down twisty, New Zealand roads and so much time braving the icy New Zealand water with people before they became more than just work colleagues.
Some of the best days of my life were spent in those New Zealand waters with those guys.
Like the time Jimbo drove us up to Pakiri Beach and we had a section of an amazing little beach break all to our selves.
Or the time Woonie met me up at Piha on my birthday, and I caught one of the biggest lefts of my life, then bailed on it, and came up out of the water to see Woonie laughing.
Or the time Johannes and i went down to Raglan for big, messy (but otherwise almost empty) waves for a Sunday afternoon.
Or the time four of us somehow managed to cram into Johannes’ car with our boards to surf North Piha, right next to the cliff, and I dropped in on Johannes (sorry, buddy).
Or the time Gui and I went out on the coldest day of the year and had the entire beach to ourselves. (the waves weren’t great, but it was still an amazing experience).
Or any of the other times where we paddled out into the ocean off the coast of New Zealand to watch each other catch waves, or to disappear from each other’s sights when the rip was strong.
Or the Friday nights spent talking on What’s App about where the waves were best, and how early in the morning we’d want to leave.
Or on the Monday mornings at work, when we’d talk about the waves we caught over the weekend, and would start looking at the forecast.
You can only spend so many days like that, so much time spent seeing the smile on someone’s face after they’ve caught an amazing wave, or having them see one on yours, and not consider them friends.
So there you go, Johannes. I wrote about you guys. I miss you dudes and hope we connect for a surf mission again soon.
I guess if there was a moral to this story it would be to enjoy the moment.
Or maybe that the friends you make today will be your friends for life.
Or maybe that you should just get up early to go surfing. Preferably with some good friends.
PS: Message me if you're in Sydney and want to go for a surf.