With more surf breaks per kilometre than anywhere south of Hawaii, the Taranaki coastline has always enticed surfers to its shores and many call it home as a result. This summer at Puke Ariki Surf: Shaping Taranaki will celebrate how surfing has helped shape our local community.
We all know surfers are never short of a yarn or two and Taranaki has starred in thousands of stories about surfing life; about perfect sets of glassy waves; surfing secret spots and boards made in backyards.
This exhibition features a lineup of personal stories and personalities, kiwi ingenuity and high-end technology as well as exploring the science behind our wild west coast waves.
Surfing has brought people to Taranaki and it has also encouraged them to stay when their lives could have taken them anywhere in the world. The video installation 'Shaping Taranaki', profiles the achievements of surfers who have shaped the cultural landscape of the region.
Manipulate the seabed and see what happens to the waves at two well known Taranaki surf breaks in the hands-on 'Wave Play' simulator.
Science and surf folklore combine in another interactive. Years of data from 20 carefully chosen surf breaks helps explain how the elements affect the ocean to produce the ultimate wave, while giving voice to the grassroots surfers up and down the coastline who live for these world-class waves.
If you've never experienced the thrill of riding a board, you won't miss out. Surf: Shaping Taranaki makes surfing accessible to anyone through an Xbox Kinect-styled game. Wannabe surfers can virtually surf Bogworks, New Plymouth's downtown right hand wave, or Rocky Lefts, one of Surf Highway 45's legendary rock strewn breaks, no need for a wetsuit!
Surf: Shaping Taranaki will be complemented by a series of public events and a schools education programme.