Dean Spence, thirty-year old co-owner of Ballistics, an adventure-gear store on Barry Point Road in Takapuna, likes nothing better than a weekend of wakeboarding and kitesurfing with friends on a secret lake near Mangawhai.
While I love Auckland and knowing that I can mountain bike, surf, wakeboard and kite surf all within 20 minutes of my house at Greenhithe, the weekend for me is about making the most of the great spaces New Zealand has to offer for adventure sports.
On Friday night my girlfriend and I and usually half a dozen mates will pack the car up, hook the boat on (filled with Coronas, the latest selection of D.U.P wakeboards and Follow vests and handles) and drive north in search of a lake.
We have found some fantastic less well known spots through bookabach, including my favourite which comes with access to a private lake. It is the most amazing spot with no one around except sheep and birds. My two 7 year old huskies – Nuka and Aerys – love the space and freedom as well.
On the way up we always stop and see James at The Food Vault in Haupai. James always ensures we have a good supply of pies and brioche like snacks for the weekend ahead.
Saturday morning always starts with a dawn wakeboard for the early risers, just a quick coffee and on to the boat. The lake at sunrise is like glass and you just can’t beat it (or waste it).
I have shares in a Supra boat with an Indmar V8 engine. It is a lake boat with a ballast you can fill with a 1000 kgs of water at the flick of the switch, sinking the boat in the water which makes a bigger wake.
After the first set we come back to the house for bacon and eggs on the BBQ, before then heading back out on the lake for another set with those friends who missed sunrise. Afterwards we will all grab a late lunch at the pub in Mangawhai before picking up the best pork Sausages from the Mangawhai butcher for the night ahead.
After a siesta back at the house and perhaps a bit of surfing on shockmansion.com or facebook, we get the BBQ fired up and enjoy the well chilled Coronas and build the bonfire for later in the evening. With no one around the stereo can get louder as the Coronas disappear (and even some Koppa Berg cider which I have recently discovered). We enjoy a real mix of music with a bit of old and bit of new, but the current playlist includes The Pixies, Faith No More and Justice.
Sunday morning starts the same as Saturday – dawn on the lake and the water surprisingly warm. After a couple of hours we return to the house, pick up the late risers and head out in search of coffee and brunch.
As part of the drive back to Auckland we will usually try and sneak some kite-surfing in depending on the breeze and which coast we are near. This ensures that as we arrive back in Auckland early evening we feel beaten and destroyed but with a smile on my face.
For me, when everything is hurting and the body is wrecked you know the weekend has been a success.