Thick clouds line the mountain silhouettes as first light slips through a gap in the frosty mist.
Rays of pink & red soaring across the plains illuminating Aotearoa’s highest peak.
Halfway into our 450km journey to the Mingle, we’re treated to a vivid sunrise over Aoraki - Mount Cook.
Shelby & I play by the lake in the morning sun, almost an early reward for our effort to hit the road spontaneously.
The Canterbury plains are a vast change of horizon from Wanaka where we now call base.
After a geographically diverse 6 hour drive we’re stoked to be at Scarborough Beach right next to Sumner.
It’s around noon on Saturday & we’re greeted by an energetic event vibe & small reforming waves.
The competition heats well under way, single fin boards & camper vans line the esplanade, it’s gonna be a sweet weekend.
It’s now been almost a year since we surfed the warm water point breaks of our hometown Noosa.
Our biggest withdrawal is the joy of sharing sessions in & out of the water with your best friends, so we ventured to the Single Fin Mingle in search of that feeling.
I hope my images can bring a sense of what we felt, returning to surf culture after hiding out in the mountains for so long.
Strolling between Sumner & Scarborough Beach is a breeze along this walkway, also doubles as an epic surf festival venue.
Surfboard & camera chat with strangers over a freshly poured Allpress coffee, no charge for alternative milk :)
Sean fixes a ding in Eurico’s board on a rubbish bin so they can compete against one another on the following finals day.
The finals day hangover; experienced first hand and witnessed in many forms.
Amy Rose Hewton always with a grin on her face.
Closing ceremony made sweeter with Corona on the house, cheers to that!
Event organiser and all round good guy, Ambrose McNeill.
Robin Kegel after being crowned the Rhythm “Groove King” of the free surf event for competitors who did not make it through to finals.
Mike Lay, mens winner of the SFM 2019.
The level of womens surfing was outstanding and a true pleasure to watch.
Spray ya mates.
Vanside hangouts alongside others who have travelled from across New Zealand & far away countries.
Making the most of onshore conditions.
All images shot with Nikon D800 & a 35mm Nikon F5, you can find more of my images on instagram @caseyripperphoto & www.caseyripperphoto.tumblr.com