At the end of each financial year the Seasonz team get together to spend some quality time, to celebrate the year past, to reflect on the good and the bad and to focus on the year ahead. It’s a very important date in our annual calendar and each year we try and do something different. This year Seasonz Director’s Sam and Matt, decided to share their passion for surfing with the rest of the team. They took the team to Piha - a popular surf beach west of Auckland city.
Surfing is a sport, a spiritual pursuit and an obsessive hobby. It’s enjoyed by millions of people all over the world and even though they may share the same passion for it, the thoughts and feelings they experience when out on the water are individual. Given this, we thought it fitting that the Seasonz surfing experience was told by each of the staff members who participated, in their own words…
“After dressing up as a Surfer Chick at our Christmas Fancy Dress Party I was a little bit under pressure to show of my surf experience (which was zero until that day). After the dry exercises on the beach, the briefing about the dangers of the sport (rip & tidal currents, sharks and more sharks) and also seeing and feeling the cold rough sea, I did get rather nervous and realised I’m not 20 anymore and this is going to be hard work! Oh boy, hard work it was, we all could still feel it days after the surfing. But it was totally worth it. I even managed to kneel and halfway stand (for a fraction of a second at least) and had so much fun doing it that I am actually considering going back for more lessons – possibly in a slightly warmer climate though!
Thanks for this amazing day, I can’t wait to see what the boys will have in the bag for the next Seasonz trip! It will be hard to top this one.”
Lara Michel, Travel Account Manager
“Sun, Sand, Surf and Sore! But lots of fun!!”
Nicola Hadlington, Travel Account Manager
“Enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather, the stunning location and was a really fun team activity which many of us had never tried before!”
Carly Hislop, Travel Account Manager
“Learning to surf was a great new experience and a really fun group activity. I can’t wait to have another try at it again now!”
Katherine Cousins, Senior Travel Account Manager / Product Manager
“Surfing at Piha was amazing, the scenery was absolutely stunning and we all tried our best to show off our surfing skills! I thought it was going to be relatively easy like in ‘Blue Crush’ but oh no, it was hard!! Some of us only got to stand on our knees and that alone was a huge achievement and thrill for me! I escaped quietly with only a little injury by the end of the surfing hour (or was it 2? It felt forever!!). It was a great day out, the water was amazing and it was so much fun to try something new with the team! The sunny drinks and casual food at the Piha Surf Life Saving Club was possibly less adventurous but definitely the highlight of the excursion!”
Chiara Palombi, Travel Account Manager
“Our day of surf lessons at Piha were, to me, one of the very best ways we could have ended the Rugby World Cup and summer season – it was totally awesome!!! Piha beach is a very beautiful, special place and the weather worked well in our favour on the day. I really enjoyed the actual surfing and caught some little waves, which made the experience even more fun! Many thanks to everyone who made the day happen!”
Inken Piroth, Senior Travel Account Manager
“The anticipation of not knowing what we had got ourselves in for, driving through the windy roads of the Waitakeres and coming to the end of the road with the most amazing backdrop of Piha Beach was amazing!!!. Then to learn we would be surfing! Awesomeness!! It was an absolute blast to be out with them and see everyone get into. I would highly recommend it to anyone to give it a go.”
Tracey Litten, Senior Account Manager – Groups & Incentives
“After pulling up to Piha which is notorious for its rescue TV show I was apprehensive of learning to surf in this environment. However with the sun beating down and the waves glistening I was happy to risk it with the Seasonz team. Was really interesting to learn about the coastal science of Piha beach before hitting the water.
Some people say surfing is just a man and the wave connecting but this experience was a great as a group active as we battle against the current and cashing waves together. Continuously failing to get on the board properly has frustrating but once I got that push from the wave and dodged my colleagues it was a trill that made you want to battle the oncoming waves again and again to get out there.”
Martyn Roberts, Accountant
“When I was desperately trying to find out how to ‘heave’ myself onto my surfboard, Sam kindly decided to help me out by holding on to my board and giving me a ‘push’ for more momentum to catch the incoming wave. Unfortunately this ‘push’ had the opposite effect and I ended up nose-diving (along with my board) underwater – thanks Sam for trying to drown me!! Despite the involuntary dive and the weeks of sore muscled that followed the experience it was such a fun day out with the team!!”
Ariane Kuebler, Operations Manager
“Warm sunshine, great food, cold beer, rugged surf, good company and lots of laughs made the perfect first time surfing experience with the work crew at one of New Zealand’s beautiful west coast beaches, Piha.”
Jamie Hayes, Travel Account Manager - Groups & Incentives
“Being a born and bred Kiwi who loves the beach and the ocean, I find it somewhat surprising that I had never tried surfing – not even once! Our team surfing lesson was a great chance to correct this terrible wrong! A class of novice surfers collected on a beach to learn to ‘surf’ on dry land has always provided me with much amusement as a non-surfing onlooker! Being on the other side however was quite a different story! It turns out that paddling frantically at the sand and springing up on your completely motionless surfboard is a most helpful experience for actually taking the board out into the water! After grave warnings of broken noses or worse still, being washed out to sea if we did not listen to the instructors, we headed out into the Piha white water. Well, what can I say? The experience certainly confirmed my long held belief that surfing is much harder than it looks! What really blew me away however was how much fun I had being completely hopeless! Who would have thought that being tossed off your board head first into the surf could be so much fun! I managed to stand up a few times and get the feeling of actually riding a wave, which was enough to give me a taste for this addictive sport! The lesson ended all too quickly, but our aching muscles were thankful to be back on the beach. All in all it was a great experience and I am happy to report no broken noses or lost colleagues. I am now looking forward to my next surfing encounter, perhaps in a few years time with my children.”
Jemma Beech, Account Manager
“After an extremely demanding but rewarding season, it is really important to take a break and reflect on our achievements. We organised an activity that would be challenging, take most out of their comfort zone but most importantly one that would be fun. Surfing is a passion of mine and Sam’s and it was also a great chance for our team to experience what we enjoy. A great day was had and many plaudits handed out throughout the afternoon. I already have plans for the next activity!”
Matt Lines, Director
“It was a loooong season so getting into the outdoors as a team was great fun! This was a first time for most of them surfing and seeing them all enjoy it so much was awesome. I look forward to our next office outing they are always so different and a little crazy!
Sam Porter, Director
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