Sweet As
Words by Skin
Safe As

It feels good to be back in New Zealand, and especially Auckland. The city’s started to take on that old familiar feel associated with somewhere like Sydney. Being comfortable isn’t too hard in a city like Auckland. The city (like New Zealand in general) is still perceived as a relatively new stop on the skateboarding world map-it hasn’t taken off and become a Mecca like Barcelona. Instead, Auckland has just laid sleeping quietly on the other side of the world. My thoughts are the locals wouldn’t want it any other way. Those who are privileged enough to come here get greeted with open arms by all of the locals who aren’t afraid to let you know everything you’d need to about their city, and then some-good people.

Wet As

I was there with Mark Appleyard, Jamie Thomas, Colt Cannon, Adrian Lopez, and Chris Cole. Ryan Smith had also come along with us. Some of the Circa team were here a little over a year ago and liked it so much they decided to do another trip. Since we’ve been here, it’s rained nonstop.

Due to its close proximity to the South Pole, New Zealand suffers from very unpredictable weather-according to one homey on the plane, December is the worst time to visit. He explained to Jamie that it was really good for fishing, but not that good if trout wasn’t your main prerogative.

Easy As
Our tour guide for the week was Rhys. He’s a top boy and showed us endless spots, some of which have been undercover. Over the last couple of days, we tried to take advantage of that. Clear weather came through at the end of the week, and instead of flying south of the North Island where we knew the weather was still crap, we decided to try our luck in Auckland for the next two days.

It turned out that’s all we needed. Auckland is an easy city to get around-relatively small-so within a day and one night, business was definitely taken care of.

Rough As
Write a list of the most popular sports in New Zealand and you’ll see skateboarding right down at the end. Not that the communities neglect it in anyway, because there’re ample mini ramps and spots to skate supplied by the council. Number one on that list would be rugby.

New Zealand and rugby have long gone hand in hand, and with a population of just over three-million, New Zealand hosts one of the best teams in the world. Rugby’s closest cousin is American football. The rules are different, but the goal of getting the oblong ball over the opponent’s line is the same.

You have to be of notable size and have the stamina of an ox to play rugby nonstop for 40 minutes at a time. Not to mention be tough enough to brave cauliflower ears, which come with the territory when 250-pound men built like brick shithouses try to bite them off. Rugby’s been known to make grown men cry.

Cheap As
Economic climate in New Zealand is mainly dictated by Asia. When the yen took a dive, numerous currencies went swimming with it, and one of them was New Zealand’s. Anyone from there visiting the U.S is faced with an uphill struggle. Many of the locals don’t even try to come over-why would you when you have everything on your doorstep?

On the other hand, the story’s a lot different for us in the U.S. One-hundred American dollars will get you 240 New Zealand. To cut a long story short, that makes it super cheap. You can live like a king there-only if it’s for a short time.