Polar Bear Surf Classic

Polar Bear Surf Classic

The 39th Polar Bear Surf Classic sponsored by Mammoth Modern Insulation was finally held this weekend after a 2 month wait period.  Poor swell, COVID-19 and then a run of other surf competitions, put an unusually long halt to the Polar Bear this year which typically runs in August at Sandy Bay on the Tūtūkākā Coast.
Despite the long wait and the fairly small surf, the 39th installment of the Polar Bear Surf Classic was a great success, with 70 entrants and two days of quality surfing, from the Under 10 ‘micro grom’ division all the way through to the Masters division.  The oldest competitor being 71 and the second oldest competitor, John Gisby, taking out the Masters division yet again and adding to his impressive record at the Polar bear so far.

Saturday’s competitors battled through strong on-shore winds with 2 foot waves to contest in, but still managed some impressive surfing despite this.  Eli Jacobs, 2018 Open Men’s winner posting a heat score of 15 out of a possible 20 points straight off the bat and making the conditions look a lot better than they were.  Alice Westerkamp from Māori Bay Boardriders was also a stand-out performer, at only 16 years old she will be one to watch in the future, this year taking out the Open Women’s division as well as the Under 16 girls and winning a custom surfboard shaped by Lou Aitken of ‘Louweazal Surfboards’.

Sunday morning was far more pleasant, the Open Women and Longboard divisions making the most of the glassy conditions before the wind picked up slightly again.  In the longboard division there was a great mix of young and old as well as some seasoned and novice competitors.  Hawk Edwards was our youngest longboard entrant, at 12 years in his second ever surf competition.  Hawk made an impression on the judges advancing through the first round but just missing out on making it into the semi-finals.  Luckily Hawk has plenty of years left to hone his craft and we look forward to seeing his progression in the longboard division.

Eli Jacobs was happy to come back to the bay and to take out the Open Men’s division again this year, and in keeping with his kaupapa of 2018, Eli donated his winning prize cheque – $1000 sponsored by Mammoth Modern Insulation – straight back to North Coast Boardriders for the youth development fund. 

North Coast Boardriders Club President, Conor Pullman, was stoked with the outcome and said – 
“Although conditions were small NCB are really happy to have been able to run the event after so many postponements due to Covid-19 and clashes with other events. Having Eli, a hugely respected surfer who’s been staying in Sandy Bay for the last couple months win and then gift his winnings to our youth development programme again is unbelievable and will go a long way to helping our young surfers achieve their dreams of becoming competitive surfers. His generosity will be remembered for a long time to come.”  

The final results for all divisions were as follows:

Under 10
1st –  Jesse Frazerhurst
2nd – Kentaro Mitchell
3rd – Alani Morse
4th – Taine Rahui

1st – John Gisby
2nd – Mark Hoyle
3rd – Jim Ward

1st – Billy Whelan
2nd – Zen Wallis
3rd – Eli Jacobs
4th – Glen Johnson

Junior Boys
1st – Izaak Hayes
2nd – Ari D’Anvers
3rd – Ben Moretti
4th – Theo Morse

Junior Girls
1st – Alice Westerkamp
2nd – Talia Da Silva
3rd – Alani Morse
4th – Sky Gundry

Open Men
1st – Eli Jacobs
2nd – Zen Wallis
3rd – Te Kauwhata Kauwhata
4th – Thomas Charlesworth

Open Women
1st – Alice Westerkamp
2nd – Talia Da Silva
3rd – Mischa Davis
4th – Indi-Lee Ruddell

Thank you to all involved – officials, entrants, spectators, whanau and of course all of this year’s sponsors:
Mammoth Modern Insulation
Louweazal Custom Surfboards
Tutukaka Surf
Spooked Kooks
Mega Surf
Insight Tattoo
Carve Sunglasses
Coastal Construction
Dawny Adventure Club
Tawapou Coastal Natives

Kia ora Koutou Katoa,

Wow, what a year!  Super weird times and lots of decisions to make about how to be in this new ‘normal’.  With that in mind please stick with us as we explain how we are going to proceed with running the Polar Bear Surf Classic this year below.

The committee met last night to discuss our options in the current climate, taking into consideration the government recommendations as well as our own ability as volunteers to arrange and implement the necessary protocols to run an event under level 2 guidelines.

The result of this discussion is as follows:
We as event organisers are not in a position to run an event in level 2, logistically it is too cumbersome and it is too much to ask from our small team of volunteers.
We think running under level 2 will take away from the fun community vibe that the Polar Bear has.
It’s a bit irresponsible to encourage travel and congregating in large numbers – as much as we would love to be able to!  We are a team of 5 million and we need to act in the spirit of this.
We would need to exclude all competitors from Auckland as the recommendation is for them to not congregate in groups of 10 or more.

As you can see from above the main considerations are related to Health & Safety and the additional workloads involved due to COVID-19 restrictions.  
In short we can only run the Polar Bear under Level 1 (Nationally, not regionally) conditions.

The next question is WHEN WILL WE RUN??? 

We really want to get this happening, but are impacted by other national surfing events coming up through October so we have decided that the following dates are the only times we will be able to possibly run:

19 – 20 Sept
31 oct – 1 Nov
7 – 8 Nov
14 – 15 Nov
21-22 Nov
28 – 29 Nov

So it will roll like this, AS SOON as we are in level 1, we can run on the first one of the weekend dates noted above that has swell.

If no swell happens or we don’t leave level 2, then we will come up with another plan down the track.

What does this mean for you?
At this stage, just hold tight, we don’t need to hear from you about what dates you are free or anything like that – we will just be waiting to hear from the Government about dropping to level 1, and once this happens we will get back in touch with competitors via email to find out if you will be free for the next available weekend.

Likewise, with refunds etc – wait to see what happens and then once we know exactly if/when we are running we can look at the process of doing this.

We are really grateful to our sponsors for being so chill about this all, and we are incredibly grateful to all of YOU for understanding and continuing to support us.

We are crossing fingers, toes and everything in between hoping for a fun surf event to shake off this nutty year.  The Polar Bear may have a tan once we get running, maybe we will have to call it the Brown Bear Classic 2020?

Thanks again, look after each other, go surfing and keep smiling!

The NCB Crew.
Kia ora koutou!
thanks for all your patience, please see below our latest COVID-19 response.
“In light of the current COVID alert Level in Auckland we are going to postpone the Polar Bear until we hear what is happening after either the government review this Friday the 21st of August or Thursday the 27th of August.
If the lockdown period does not increase or extend, we will look at going ahead with the comp on the weekend of the 29th and 30th of August making a final call based on contestable conditions on the evening of Wednesday the 26th of August.
If the lockdown does extend or level up, we will reassess again as it happens and as more information becomes available.”

The 39th Mammoth Modern Insulation Polar Bear Surf Classic

15th th & 16th August 2020

Kia ora koutou!

UPDATE:  We are into our first weekend of postponement.  New dates are 15th & 16th August.  

It’s Polar Bear season again, woohoo!

North Coast Boardriders are pleased to announce that the 39th Annual Polar Bear Surf Classic will be running on the 8th & 9th of August.

We are stoked to confirm that Mammoth Modern Insulation have partnered with us again and are sponsoring $1000 for the winner of the Open Men’s division. This year the Open Women’s division will be sponsored by Louweazal Surfboards who is putting up a custom board for the lucky winner

So come along, support and enjoy the surfing entertainment.  We will have raffles, music – hopefully some live stuff on the Saturday afternoon – good food and coffee, so what better reason for a weekend at the beach!?

As with previous years, if the swell is not predicted to be contestable, we will roll over to the following weekend and so forth until the forecast is favourable.  Please be aware that there are NO refunds for postponement.

If you have any questions please feel free to email 

ncboardriders.secretary@gmail.com or 


We look forward to seeing you there!

Ngā mihi nui,

The NCB crew

UPDATE:  All divisions except Micro-groms are full.

Entry Form:


Check out all our awesome sponsors below

The 38th Mammoth Modern Insulation Polar Bear Classic

7th & 8th September 2019

The 38th Mammoth Modern Insulation Polar Bear Surf Classic had another cracker weekend this year.

After a shaky Friday reading conflicting weather and surf forecasts, the North Coast Boardriders comp team were feeling a bit stressed as we tried to predict which one of the maps were going to be the most accurate.  We needn’t have worried though as Sandy Bay put on a spectacular combo of sunshine and waves, rolling out the welcome mat for all our competitors, spectators and visitors.

The mostly glassy, solid 2 foot waves were plenty enough for this year’s competitors to showcase their skills, and the spectators were lucky enough to enjoy both the sunshine and the great surfing entertainment. 

The Longboard final was definitely a highlight, with two young up and comers Nat Fitt and Billy Whelan against two of our more seasoned, past national champs Paul Moretti and Wini Paul.  The final ended in a close showdown between Nat Fitt and Paul Moretti, with Nat taking home first place this time around, repping the youth contingent and setting himself up well for the Scholastics in Raglan in a few weeks time.

We were also well entertained by the under 10 finalists, Jesse Frazerhurst, Ezra Donaldson, Hunter Graham and Van Leith.  In the last heat of the day, the micro groms showed us that the future of surfing in New Zealand looks very bright indeed.

A huge thanks to our major sponsors, Mammoth Modern Insulation, Dive! Tutukaka, Barrett Homes, Louweazal Surfboards, Radio Hauraki, Factory Surf Co & Tutukaka Surf.

A heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful support crew from North Coast Boardriders who kept the comp ticking along like clockwork and to Chook from Coastal Kitchen and Karl from Classic Coffee for keeping everyone full and awake!

And lastly, to all our competitors, spectators and supporters, thanks for bringing all your great energy to our little corner of the world, we love hosting this comp and we love watching everyone leave with big smiles on their faces.

Check out the final results below, and see you all next year for number 39!

Tia Lord – Contest Director

 Open Men

  1. Paul Moretti
  2. Caleb Cutmore
  3. Tom Robinson
  4. Andrew Robinson

Open Women

  1. Wini Paul
  2. Laura Griffin
  3. Claudia Fraser
  4. Mischa Davis


  1. Nat Fitt
  2. Paul Moretti
  3. Wini Paul
  4. Billy Whelan

 Under 18 Boys

  1. Caleb Cutmore
  2. Tom Robinson
  3. Ari D’Anvers
  4. Tai Erceg-Gray

  Under 16 Girls

  1. Liv Haysom
  2. Charlotte Taylor
  3. Indi-Lee Ruddell
  4. Talia Da Silva

 Under 14 Boys

  1. Mathias Thompson
  2. Tai Erceg-Gray
  3. Izaak Hayes
  4. Kauai Rahui

Under 10

  1. Jesse Frazerhurst
  2. Ezra Donaldson
  3. Hunter Graham
  4. Van Leith 

Over 40’s

  1. Andrew Robinson
  2. Joe O’Donnell
  3. Ethan Kinnear
  4. Nat Jakich

Over 50’s

  1. Mark Hoyle
  2. Billy Hale
  3. Nick Brown-Haysom

Over 60’s

  1. John Gisby
  2. Rupert Newbold
  3. Phil Bonham
  4. Jim Ward

The 38th Mammoth Modern Insulation Polar Bear Classic

7th & 8th September 2019

Hey Folks!  It’s that wintery time of year again, dig out your 4/3’s and booties and head over to beautiful Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka Coast to enter/spectate/participate/commemorate one of the country’s longest running surf competitions!

North Coast Boardriders are stoked to partner up with Mammoth Modern Insulation once again to bring you installation number 38 of our epic cold water competition.

The Polar bear classic was first held in 1981 as a fundraiser and an excuse to invite other clubs who could make the trek for a good party in the middle of winter, a fun competition at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka coast.  Although the surf is unpredictable at this time of the year ,we have had some impressive surf and some even more impressive surfing from the region’s top surfers, with entrants from all over the country.

This year North Coast Boardriders are happy to offer $1000 prize money to both the Open Men’s and Open Women’s division winners for the second year running.  NCB and the wider Tutukaka Coast Community are proud to stand by our Kaupapa of equal prize money.  It is just one step in recognising our top female athletes for their contribution to the sport and paving the way for equal opportunities within the surfing community and the surfing industry.

Divisions for this year are:

Open Men, Open Women’s, Over 40’s, Over 50’s/60’s , Longboard (over 9ft), Under 18 boys, Under 14 boys, Under 16 girls, Under 10’s mixed

Click HERE to enter…..

Is the comp on or off?

Kia ora koutou,
Swell is not coming to the party for this weekend. We will be rolling over into the 7th & 8th September.  As with last time, competitors look out for an email from our friendly secretary Erin (Ezzaaaa) and let her know if you are available to compete on the new date.

Get in touch if you have any questions and pray for waves!

IF you have entered, please email Erin at ncboardriders.secretary@gmail.com to let her know if you are still available to compete on the 7th & 8th.
Please do this before 5pm this Friday so that we can let the waitlist people know and open up entries again.
If you are on the waitlist, please also email Erin to confirm you still want to compete and then stay tuned as some spots may open up. People on the waitlist have first priority and then we will open the entry form back up again if there are any other spots available.


As at 18/8/19 we have nearly reached capacity across all divisions:

Longboard – FULL
Under 10 – FULL
Under 14 boys – FULL
Under 18 boys – FULL
Over 50’s/60’s – FULL

Over 40’s – FULL

Open men – FULL

Under 16 girls – 2

Open Women – 4

Unfortunately we have had to close the waitlist for all other divisions due to overwhelming numbers and demand

Click HERE to enter…..

Click the logos below to find out more about this year’s awesome sponsors:







The Polar Bear went off with a bang on the 4 th and 5 th of August with a record number
of entrants (94). We couldn’t have dreamed of better conditions for a surf
competition, Sandy Bay really delivered the goods this year with beautiful warm
weather and a pumping easterly swell, it definitely felt like the winterless north.
Maybe Tangaroa knew that this year was special, with Dive! Tutukaka joining
Mammoth Insulation as a major sponsor and putting up a whopping $1000 for the
Open Women’s division winner to match the Open Men’s division prize money.In the surfing industry equal prize money for men and women is currently being debated across the globe, but here on the little old Tutukaka Coast, we didn’t need to debate about it, it was an easy and organic transition and was well supported by everybody on the committee and by the awesome community and businesses we are surrounded with here.

The sponsorship this year was huge, and we are so grateful to all our sponsors, the prize
bags were jam packed and all the finalists were stoked. The raffle also went
awesome and all the kids from our grommet training programmes worked hard
selling them throughout the week, then on finals day we had a great crowd watching
and waiting to hear if they had won.

This year the NCB is focusing on youth development as we watch the emergence of
the next generation of hot young surfers. With Northland being off the radar for a lot
of sponsorship and competition opportunities, we believe it is important that we use
our resources to nurture the rising athletes of Te Tai Tokerau, whether it is for that
competitive edge or just for a safe place to come and push themselves and learn
about the ocean and our role as guardians of this beautiful stretch of coastline. The
money raised at the Polar Bear will go a long way to helping us achieve that aim, we
have already had our first meeting since the Polar Bear and approved funding to go
to helping four of our members in the Northland Scholastic Team get down to
Gisborne for the Scholastics in October and we have some big plans in the pipeline
which we look forward to sharing with everyone.

Back to the Polar Bear, and we all stood around the banks of the Sandy Bay carpark
listening to the results of the finals on a sunny Sunday arvo when Eli Jacobs, a
young surfer who had come over from the Gold Coast to visit family and stay in his
Aunties batch at Sandy Bay, stepped forward to accept the Men’s Open Trophy and
the $1000 cheque. What happened next stunned all those in attendance. After
thanking the club for organising and running “one of the best organised comps I have
been to”, Eli handed the $1000 cheque to a group of local junior surfers, saying,
“This money should stay in Sandy Bay”.

What an incredible finish to a brilliant weekend!

Once again a huge thank you to everyone involved, our wonderful volunteers, our epic sponsors, the spectators and the competitors, you are what make these events so awesome.

Most of all thank you to our beautiful coast, who sustains us and gives us enjoyment beyond measure every time we paddle out

Be sure to look out for the next edition of nzsurfmag, which will feature the comp
as well as a couple of our local groms on their first EVER surf photo shoot.


1st – Ben Porter
2nd – Ezra Donaldson
3rd – Alani Morse
4th – Indi-Lee Ruddell

1st – Tama Kauwhata
2nd – Tai Erceg-Gray
3rd – Ben Moretti
4th – Jack Tyro
1st – Taylor O’leary
2nd – Billy Gilbert
3rd – Cory Vercoe
4th – Thomas Robinson
1st – Andrew Robinson
2nd – Josh Borlase
3rd – Glyn Jacobs
4th – Jack Griffith
1st – Mark Hoyle
2nd – Jack Griffith
3rd – Glyn Jacobs
4th – Steve Tyro
1st – John Gisby
2nd – Richard Waitzer
3rd – Rupert Newbold
4th – Dave Gould
1st- Zen Wallis
2nd – Glen Johnson
3rd- Winnie Hoogerbrugge
4th- Mark Hoyle 
1st – Laura Griffen
2nd – Wini Paul
3rd – Mischa Davis
4th – Renee Ruddell 
1st – Eli Jacobs
2nd – Dune Kennings
3rd – Rian Boyd
4th – Andrew Robinson


2018 Polar Bear Entry Form

The Polar bear classic was first held in 1981 as a fundraiser and an excuse to invite other clubs who could make the trek for a good party in the middle of winter, a fun competition at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka coast.  Although the surf is unpredictable at this time of the year ,we have had some impressive surf and some even more impressive surfing from the region’s top surfers, plus a few from as far away as Gisborne & Taranaki.

This year (2018) the North Coast Boardriders is proud to offer $1000 to both the Open Men’s and Open Women’s division winners for the first time.

Equal prize money is just one step in recognising our top female athletes for their contribution to the sport and paving the way for equal opportunities within the surfing community and the surfing industry.  We are at the forefront of this movement in NZ as one of the few clubs in the world encouraging women and girls in surfing through equal prize money.  The Women’s division will be named the ‘Dive! Tutukaka, Open Womens’ in honour of our generous sponsor.  Dive! Tutukaka also sponsor the club throughout the year and are committed to equal pay, sustainability and youth development, just like we are.  Mammoth Insulation are our major sponsor again this year and put up the prize money for the ‘Mammoth Insulation, Open Men’s division’.

The Polar Bear is always well supported and there are surfers who are now surfing in the over 40’s & 50’s divisions that attended those early Polar Bear as grommets. Prizes over the years have ranged from custom surfboards to a sheep (it was taken home alive) but everyone leaves with a sponsors printed t-shirt for their efforts. The 8 Divisions for the 2018 event are,

The Open (this is the Trophy division) Open Women’s, Over 40’s, Over 50’s/60’s , Longboard (over 9ft), Under 18’s, Under 14’s, Under 10’s

Again this Annual Fundraiser would not be possible without the ongoing support from our Sponsors.

Click icons for direct link to our sponsors websites: