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Hume, T.M.; Mulcahy, N., and Mead, S.T, 2019. An overview of changing usage and management issues in New Zealand's surf zone environment. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 1–12. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
New Zealand has a diverse surf zone associated with its 18,000 km of shoreline. Growing numbers of people are using the surf zone for sport and recreation because of increasing population, a growth in surf culture and related tourism and advances in technology. The latter has provided an ever-growing diversity and availability of devices for surfing, wet suits allowing activities to continue throughout the winter, and weather, tide and wave forecasting services via the www and mobile devices that allow users to target specific locations and sea states. The result has been overcrowding and conflicts between users at prime locations, particularly at times when wind and wave conditions suited to the various activities coincide. There are increasing threats to the surfing space that range in scale from local to global and include activities in the swell corridor such as marine farming, activities close to the area surfed such as dredging of entrances and catchment developments leading to loss of landscape values and degradation of water quality. Case studies presented illustrate the range of issues and conflicts associated with increasing and multi-use of the surf zone and the increasing challenges for councils and water safety organisations who manage this water space. We describe the role of policy and plans and the various stakeholder groups in addressing these issues. At a national level a risk management approach to water safety has been developed and is being applied to beaches throughout New Zealand which includes recommendations to manage conflict in the surf zone.
Mead, S.T. and Atkin, E.A., 2019. Managing issues at Aotearoa New Zealand's surf breaks. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 13–22. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 (NZCPS) provides a legislative framework that identifies and calls for the protection of surf breaks of national and regional significance by “ensuring that activities in the coastal environment do not adversely affect the surf breaks” and by “avoiding adverse effects of other activities on access to, and use and enjoyment of the surf breaks”. While this is ground-breaking as the world's first environmental policy to specifically identify surf breaks as protected spaces, it has been somewhat toothless in its effectiveness because there are no clear, quantitative measures or guidelines describing the oceanographic or geomorphic characteristics of the coastal zone that contribute to the functionality of a surf break. This paper summarises our existing knowledge concerning surf breaks in New Zealand and highlights the management issues facing local communities and councils; it presents an example of an implemented management approach and the way forward with the recently completed national management guidelines for surfing resources, which are a world first.
Orchard, S; Atkin, E.A., and Mead, S.T., 2019. Development of the regional significance concept for surf break management in Aotearoa New Zealand. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 23-34. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
New Zealand is at the forefront of global developments in the management of surf breaks. Since establishing legal protection under the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 the focus has shifted to the implementation responsibilities of local government. Within this context, a new planning mechanism has evolved around the concept of identifying surf breaks of ‘regional significance’ as a focus for protective measures. This paper provides a comprehensive review of these new developments including the different approaches taken in technical assessments and statutory plans to date. Although the concept is still in its infancy, there have been a range of approaches used that differ in many important aspects. These include the information sources relied upon, methodologies for community participation, and the rationale for conferring regional significance status. Two major paradigms can be identified in the design of assessment processes: the direct nomination of surf breaks for regional significance by local knowledge holders, and the assessment of surf breaks against regional significance criteria and associated qualifying thresholds. At the current point in time there are a range of philosophical decisions to be worked through in relation to the intended role in the management context, and the non-disclosure of sensitive locations leading to their exclusion from assessments. The current examples provide an important starting point towards a comprehensive approach for recognising national, regional and local levels of significance. Further developments can be expected as management authorities incorporate and build upon on these new approaches to surf resource management.
Waiti, J.T.A. and Awatere, S., 2019. Kaihekengaru: Māori surfers' and a sense of place. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 35-43. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The unique relationship that Māori have with nature and the environment is a topic that has received much interest. There is however a lack of investigation into the oceanscape, and in particular to surfing and a sense of place among Māori wave riders (Kaihekengaru). Kaihekengaru provide a unique perspective of ‘place’, as surfing involves direct engagement with nature and intimate human interactions with diverse coastal environments and peoples.
This study involved an online survey and key informant interviews with Māori who regularly surf their local surfbreaks. The results suggest that for some Māori surfers a deep sense of place prevails with the environment in Aotearoa New Zealand, and that this sense of place manifests an array of thoughts and feelings related to spiritual, affective, familial, physical and cognitive perceptions. A sense of place for the participants in this study drew on Mātauranga Māori and a Māori worldview. Underpinning these experiences of place was the concept of whakapapa and its influence on environmental attachments, Ātua engagements, and ancestral connections. In a wider sense, the implications of these findings highlight the need to ensure that these oceanscapes, surfbreaks, and associated landmarks are maintained for the future benefit of all New Zealanders'.
Bryan, K.R..; Davies-Campbell, J.; Hume, T.M., and Gallop, S.L., 2019. The influence of sand bar morphology on surfing amenity at New Zealand beach breaks. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 44-54. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Wave breaking patterns on many of New Zealand's prominent surfing beaches are controlled by surf zone sand bar morphology. In turn, sand bars change in response to wave breaking and surf zone current patterns, with well-known theories predicting more linear bars during winter, and more three dimensional patterns during lower energy conditions. Here four databases of sand bar morphology from New Zealand, collected at Aramoana, Piha, Lyall Bay, and Tairua, are analysed to detect changes in key parameters that control wave surfability: the length and orientation of the bar. Longer bars provide the potential for longer surfing rides, whereas the orientation determines the peel angle or the difficulty of the ride. Computer algorithms were used to detect sandbars from light intensity maxima patterns obtained from averaged, geo-rectified video imagery collected at each beach. The length of bar was inversely correlated with orientation, with longer beaches also having longer bars. Sand bar length and orientation was highly variable, both spatially (with location along the beach) and temporally (seasonal and interannual variability), making it difficult to detect any significant changes between location or with time. However, sand bars were generally shorter and more obliquely-oriented near the ends of these headland-enclosed beaches. Although no significant seasonal variations were detected, there were detectable interannual variations on the two beaches with the longest datasets, which were correlated with the Southern Oscillation Index. Implications of the study are that, unless changes are substantial such as caused by groins and seawalls, long monitoring datasets are needed to detect anthropogenic impacts on surf breaks.
Borrero, J.C.; O'Day, C., and Rifai, J., 2019. Application of Rip Curl SearchGPS watch data for analyzing surf breaks. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 55–69. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Atkin, E.A. and Greer, D., 2019. A comparison of methods for defining a surf break's swell corridor. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 70–77. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
A swell corridor is the offshore extension of a surf break that waves travel through before reaching the surf break area. Establishing the location and characteristics of a swell corridor is imperative to making sustainable decisions regarding surfing resources. To date, there are no known published studies that consider how a swell corridor should be spatially and quantitatively defined. This study considers different numerical modelling and post processing approaches to constructing a surf break's swell corridor. The basis for defining the footprint of the swell corridor for each of the approaches is to simulate a range of wave conditions, and use streamlines to determine the origin of the swell. Methods consider streamlines that originate offshore and run landward and streamlines that run from a surf break to a point offshore, referred to as forward and reverse methods. These methods are jointly applied to both hindcast and idealized wave conditions. The collection of streamlines for a surf break are used to create maps of Relative Percentage Activity – a normalized count per spatial bin. The recommended method for the characterization and definition of a surf break's swell corridor is the full hindcast with reverse streamline method.
Atkin, E.A.; Mead, S.T., and Phillips, D., 2019. Investigations of offshore wave preconditioning. In: Bryan, K.R. and Atkin, E.A. (eds.), Surf Break Management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 87, pp. 78–90. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The way in which a wave breaks is largely a function of the path wave orthogonals and the bathymetry that wave orbitals encounter as the wave propagates shoreward. This effect is commonly referred to in surf science literature as preconditioning and occurs at a range of scales. This work considers seabed features that do not cause wave breaking but influence the way in which they break. An assessment first quantifies the dimensions of a number of known wave preconditioning features, and then involves iterative numerical model simulations of heuristic seabed features. The impact of an offshore feature is descried in terms of the wave propagation in the lee of the feature and breaking patterns, or surf zone plan-shape, near the shoreline. It is proposed that offshore features be considered as either disruptive or focus preconditioners. The former results in complex and chaotic interference patterns resulting in multiple peaks at the shoreline, with the latter creating a more singular or defined peak with less widespread disruption. A key component for surfing wave quality to be influenced by offshore preconditioning is the establishment of longshore wave height gradients, which are often associated with the bifurcation, or “snapping” of wave crests. The degree to which a feature sets up longshore wave height gradients and bifurcates wave crests is shown to be influenced by the size of the preconditioning feature relative to the incident wave conditions.