Leroy Rust – Big Wave Awards

Leroy Rust has thrown himself into contention for Surfing Life’s Oakley Big Wave Awards after successfully navigating a huge wave at Papatowai in the Catlins, New Zealand. Rust was able to find himself in position for one of the best waves he has ever caught at the notorious big wave spot, with his years of experience at the break proving essential as he pitted himself against the treacherous conditions.
“When I was paddling I remember thinking it was big and good shape but I didn’t think it was as big as it was. I got a bit of water in my eyes on the takeoff so I was half blind through the drop. After that I never really got the chance to look up for long and assess the size properly, I was too focused on trying to stick it. It felt like a good one but it wasn’t until I saw the shots that I realised how it doubled up and hit the reef perfectly. I don’t know if I’ll ever be in the spot for one so perfect out there again, I’m so stoked I got it.”
After undergoing surgery in the middle of the harsh NZ winter to treat exostosis (surfer’s ear), Rust endured several months out of the water before setting his sights once again on testing the limits of big wave paddle surfing on the rugged coastlines he calls home.
“The difference here, to most of the world, is it’s 6 degrees Celsius in the water and about the same above. Half the swells or more that come through big enough are accompanied by snowfall and a lot of wind. That’s our biggest problem; we’re so close to the storm source (Antarctica) that the swells are always married with fowl winds. The peak at Papas breaks approximately 1km offshore on the end of some broken rocky reef. It gets pretty shallow in some spots and deep in others so there’s heaps of re-forming sections and currents spinning around. We’ll usually paddle out through some rocks on the shoreline. There’s a lot of a back flow in there on the edge of the cliffs and a major current running up the coast so it’s tough getting out there on the big days. I’ve seen a couple of the friends get smashed up on the rocks. I’ve come too close for comfort too. Sometimes you get out and you’re already wrecked physically and/or mentally. The other way is to jump off the ugliest jump rock way around the head land, but the last person that did it just about drowned so we don’t do that any more.” – words surfinglife
Photos captured by Derek Morrison and Brad Roberts

Leroy is currently on his OE traveling and chasing storms. The trip was delayed by several months after he had to wait on surgery to treat his exostosis (surfer’s ear). He will be traveling for 6months and is currently in Hawaii. You can follow him on his journey through his Instagram @rusty_gram.


Waimea Bay, North Shore Hawaii

Farewell to Erin w/ Hydro 2001 – 2014

Farewell to Erin – Hydro Surf Retail Manager 2001 – 2014

Customers, Staff, and Suppliers will all miss Erin as Hydro Surf Manager.  Erin will miss Hydro Surf too but not for long – she and husband Mike are soon to be parents to twins!

Erin started at Hydro Surf in July 2001 and was so capable she was manager within 12 months. The retail environment has changed hugely during the 13 years Erin has been with Hydro Surf, from the buoyant early 2000’s where everything with a surf label sold, to the surge of online sales that meant major changes to how retail businesses functioned, Erin has embraced all change positively supporting management and staff in the process.  Erin has been such a huge part of Hydro Surf for so long that her leaving really is an end of an era.  She has always been  helpful and friendly to customers, kind and supportive to staff, has developed a close working relationship with suppliers, and has always been 100% loyal to Hydro Surf Management – I will miss her hugely.

On behalf of staff, our suppliers and customers I wish Erin and husband Mike all the best in the next most important stage of their lives – Parenthood and look forward to seeing two wee Wellington’s in the surf in a few years time!

Below are some images that mark Erin’s time at  Hydro Surf – mostly taken at our fun Xmas Parties.

Erin, Scott and Hannah 2005
Erin, Scott and Hannah 2005
Erin and Nick 2007
Erin and Nick at Nick leaving Party Feb 2007
Erin Xmas 2007
Erin Feb 2007
Erin, Nick, Alisa and Simon 2007
Erin, Nick, Alisa and Simon 2007
Erin as Santa Dec 2007 with Aslina
Erin as Santa Dec 2007 with Aslina
Erin, Jinny, Sarah and Alisa Xmas 07
Erin, Jinny, Sarah and Alisa Xmas 07
Erin with Bobbie and Jamie Xmas 07
Jamie, James, Erin and Ted Xmas 07
Jamie, James, Erin and Ted Xmas 07
Erin and Luke Xmas 07
Erin and Luke Xmas 07
Erin Ted, Sarah and Luke Xmas 07
Erin Ted, Sarah and Luke Xmas 07
Erin, Ted and Sarah Xmas 07
Erin & Alisa
Erin and Bro's Xmas 07
Erin and Bro’s Xmas 07
The Hydro Team Xmas 07
The Hydro Team Xmas 07
Erin, Leroy, Liesje & Gordie Xmas 2009
Erin, Leroy, Liesje & Gordie Xmas 2009
Erin, Leisje and Mike Xmas 2010
Erin, Leisje and Mike Xmas 2010
Santa gives Erin Chocolates Xmas 2010
Santa gives Erin Chocolates Xmas 2010
Xmas 2012 on the roof of the Hydro. Hydro Surf started in a little flat in The Hydro St Clair 5th Dec 1985.
Xmas 2012 on the roof of the Hydro. Hydro Surf started in a little flat in The Hydro St Clair 5th Dec 1985.
Erin and Mike arriving at farewell party
Erin and Mike arriving at farewell party
George tells Erin how fabulous a manager is has been
George tells Erin how fabulous a manager she has been
Erin and George
Erin and George
The Farewell party was in the same space as our first retail shop in the Hydro at St Clair
The Farewell party was in the same space as our first retail shop in the Hydro at St Clair
Leroy was just 10 when Erin first started at Hydro Surf
Leroy was just 10 when Erin first started at Hydro Surf
Hydro Surf is in good hands with Leroy who has been well trained by Erin, Hayden and Damian
Hydro Surf is in good hands with Leroy and Hayden who have been well trained by Erin.
Semisi measure's up to his cousin Leroy
Semisi measure’s up to his cousin Leroy
Erin looking a bit concerned!
Erin looking a bit concerned!
All the very best Erin - you are a gem.
All the very best Erin – you are a gem.

Katherine Greer
Managing Director Hydro Surf

SUP Leashes – Why you need one and How To use tips


 Leash Up For SUP

Potential drownings in the new sport of SUP have seen ASI, the world leader in SUP education, release the “Leash Up for SUP” awareness program.

Leash Up for SUP is an awareness program to ensure all SUP participants practice safe supping activities.

The sport has amazing fitness benefits with an overall core workout combined with the calming effect of being on the water

The boards are large and stable, making it easy to stand on. Because of this, the sport is attracting people from a variety of backgrounds with little or no board sports knowledge.

However, like all sports, there are techniques and safety information to be aware off.

If you fall off you, your board can dart off, with a potential long swim to retrieve it. If there is some wind, the board will be blown away even faster and further.

At all times, you must wear a leash. If you fall off, you still have your board beside you.

Wearing a buoyancy aid only does not guarantee safety. You still have to swim for your board and it can also be difficult to climb back on when wearing a buoyancy aid. In the unlikely event you become unconscious, a buoyancy aid will not keep your head above water, only bulky lifejacket will do that.

In flat water locations, make sure your leash is a special SUP “coiled” leash. The leash will not drag in the water and get caught on hazards. Surf locations require a long leash to minimise recoil.

Be leash aware. Know how to attach your leash to yourself and your board. Know how to use the quick release if you have to quickly remove the leash.

Only choose suitable and safe SUP locations. Do not sup in fast flowing rivers, or rapids. Do not sup at locations with hazards such branches, floating debris, rocks, low hanging trees, boat moorings. Do not sup near dams or river strainers. Do not sup in unfamiliar waters, always get local knowledge of all potential hazards before supping at any location.

When hiring boards, make sure the board comes with a leash attached and the hire operator is an accredited instructor and gives you correct information on how to wear the leash as well as the safe supping zones and boundaries.

Tips to Wearing SUP leashes

1. Be Leash Savvy. Wear leashes at all times for regular supping activities. The leash is your lifeline to your floating board.

2. Use Correct Leash Type. Fully coiled leashes only for flat water locations as there is minimal risk of being tangled on objects. But long leashes are used in the surf to minimise recoil.

3. Be Hazard Aware – stay away from locations with rocks, debris, branches or boat moorings in the water. They are not suitable for supping. You could fall and hurt yourself or your leash can be tangled on these.

4. Be 360 Degree Aware. Stay away from busy locations, with lots of water activity users. You can collide into others and or your leash could get tangled.

5. Know Your Leash – how to correctly wear your leash. How it attaches to your board and how to use the quick release mechanism.

Does not drag in water. Minimal risk of becoming tangled on objects in water.


Not correct
Long leash is not suitable for flat water locations as it drags in the water and can become tangled on objects.

FCS 11 Fin System Revealed

INTRODUCING FCS II – Full range available online at Hydro Surf
FCS is excited to announce the global release of the new FCS II System and Essential Series fin range. Set to become the new world standard in system technology and performance, FCS II is designed to accommodate all surfers; regardless of their age demographic, surfing genre, or the boards and waves they’re riding.


1. Keyless
Efficient keyless system for quick fin installation and release.

The FCS II system requires no grub screws or keys to secure the fins to the board.

Fins can be easily inserted and removed in seconds, allowing you to adapt your equipment to the conditions, on land and in the water.


2. Flush Leading Edge
Recessed leading edge with flush base connection improves water flow.

These features not only create a sturdy anchorage to the board, but minimize water disruption through a more flush and seamless transition between the fin and board surface.


3. Backward Compatible
The FCS II System is backwards compatible with all your favourite FCS dual tab Fins.

The FCS II Compatibility Kit contains specially designed silicone infills to eliminate the gap created by the dual tab fins in the new system.

The Compatibility Kits are available to purchase separately through FCS Retailers or via the FCS Online Store.


FCS II Mechanism
4 – 5. The Mechanism

Constructed using a corrosion resistant titanium tension rod, and a rotating, wear-resistant polymer barrel.

When the fin is inserted into the plug the barrel interacts with a groove detail in the fin to lock it into place using a combination of downward and lateral force.

The FCS II Fin System has been tested to over 4,000 cycles (installing & then removing the fin). Under normal conditions, the FCS II system will outlast the life of the board.


FCS II Fin System Explained
6. Honeycomb Construction
Lightweight Composite Frame encapsulated by high density foam reduces weight and maintains flex.


FCS II Neo Glass

FCS II Neo Glass – Full range now available online at Hydro Surf

FCS is excited to announce the release of a new, state-of-the-art fibreglass fin construction known as Neo Glass. Neo Glass draws on a precision moulding process and a unique combination of materials to produce a fin that delivers pro standard performance.

FCS II System

We recruited our team riders during the development, formulation and testing of Neo Glass to ensure the material lived up to their high standards. They were unanimous in their feedback and united in vindicating the overall performance, response and aesthetic of Neo Glass.



The performance of Neo Glass fins can be attributed to number of key features:

Stiff Milled Fiberglass – Neo Glass fins are manufactured using 50% long strand milled fiberglass and the highest grade industrial nylon available. This material blend is light and stiff, which allows you to push hard against your fins and control your turns, even in the most critical of situations.

Engineered Foils – Engineered foils are designed to complement each fin template so the flex is activated in the correct location on the fin, at the ideal moment on a wave.

Precision Engineered – The precision engineering process ensures the geometric accuracy of each Neo Glass fin produced. Wave after wave, turn after turn, Neo Glass produces a consistent feel across a wide range of conditions and wave sizes.

High Memory Recall – Neo Glass fins possess very high memory recall; meaning the speed at which the material returns to a neutral position once the flex has been activated. This helps you accelerate quickly and maintain momentum as you transition through your turns.




The 19 minute feature film Lemonyip Livin’ by Owen Milne and Richard Christie which came out a few days ago is seriously good.photo Owen MilneRicardo in the pit – photo Owen Milne

It was shot entirely in New Zealand over autumn too so you can witness Ricardo Christie and mates Albee Layer, Andrew Mooney, Billy Stairmand and Tim O’Connor throw down in thick neoprene… just how we like it!

Leroy’s review: “F**k that webisode standard…this is a real deal, full premium NZ surf movie.”

Round the World with Four Fins

With FCS II now it’s possible to go ‘Around the World with 4 Fins’, and be perfectly equipped to surf any type of wave.

Essentially a surfer chooses a fin template based on the waves they’re surfing and the performance they desire, then they choose the correct size fin for their weight, it’s that simple!

Check this clip of Wilko surfing the FCS II Essential Series fin range in a variety of different wave locations. Watch Video.

FCS 11 Fins are available online at Hydro Surf