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New Plymouth is the main town within the province of Taranaki. Situated on the West Coast of the North Island (facing Australia) and is exposed to the Tasman Sea. Surfing was started by the visit of travelling California surfers Bing Copeland and Rick Stoner in the late 1950's. The lack of surfboards throughout New Zealand meant the sport was slow to take off and was mainly the domain of the very active Surf Life Saving Clubs. In 1964 the 1st surfboard factory was established and is still operating today. The Cape of Taranaki proved to be ideal in offering a large variety of wave options in most weather conditions. Although chilly during the winter/spring months of June to November, these months are often the largest for wave size. December through to May are ideal with the water temp fluctuating between 17-21 degrees Celsius. 

The national governing body was headquartered in New Plymouth from 1980 through to 1990 and is responsible for much of today's systems.

There are 5 Boardrider Clubs within the region of Taranaki and the New Plymouth Surfriders Club is considered the major club. In 2006 Surfing Taranaki was formed to “position surfing as a leading sporting, recreational and cultural pursuit for all in Taranaki by fostering and developing members, at all levels through Surfing Taranaki’s competitions, programs, major events, affiliated clubs, and through schools.”


Surfing is now a mainstream sport and is practised in schools throughout the region. We aim to raise the profile of the sport even further, and with most clubs having physical clubrooms on the beach, we are ideally placed to nurture the youth of the city.

Caring for the environment is also a major part of the club structure and all possible effects by industry and councils are passed to us for consideration.


New Plymouth surfers along with Surfbreak Protection Society assisted the Taranaki Regional Council in identifying and documenting over 80 breaks in the Regional Coastal Plan and awarded them places of natural significance for protection. 

The main coastal road in the district has been officially renamed 'Surf Highway 45’.


We are on the tourist map as the main surf area in a wave laden country. There are plenty of seaside motor camps and caravan parks with a few 'free camping' areas dotted along the coast.

For tourism and accommodation information for visitors go to"



Surfbreak Protection Society. Kasm. Sewage Treatment Station. Surfbreak Protection Society and the documentation of over 80 breaks awarded places of significance for protection.

The main coastal road was awarded the National title of 'Surf Hwy 45"





Contact person in WSCN New Plymouth:

CEO Surfing Taranaki

PO Box 3364, New Plymouth

  • Contact Person: Craig Williamson
  • Phone: +64 276874122
  • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.