Stab Magazine | Earthquakes Have Made At Least One Wave Better In New Zealand

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Earthquakes Have Made At Least One Wave Better In New Zealand

Kaikoura joins the list of waves made better by major action in the earth’s plates. 

news // Nov 23, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

The 7.8 sized earthquake that struck Christchurch on November 14 killing two and terrorising New Zealand’s South Island has made the waves around Kaikoura, on the country’s east coast, better. 

“Now the reefs lifted up. Usually you could only surf this place on a lower tide but now we’re probably gonna surf it all tides, the high tides not gonna affect it as much. And yeah we’re actually pretty lucky we’re gonna be able to surf all day now,” local ripper Levi O’Connor told the NZ Herald.

The earthquakes lifted up the seafloor as much as two meters in some areas also shifting river mouths in the area, which is likely to impact local surf breaks. 

It’s not the first time a seismic shift has changed the nature of waves for the better. The catastrophic Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004, killing more than 230 000, significantly altered the surfing landscape in the area. 

“It was like discovering new spots again. We lost a few waves but we also gained a few,” recalls veteran Indonesian surf guide, Matt Cruden. A later earthquake off the coast of Nias and Simeulue in 2005, raised the seabed an incredible 2.9 meters in the area making the jewel of Sumatra, Nias, even hollower and longer, according to reports.

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