Surfing For Farmers season wraps up with woollen surfboard giveaway


Farmers from across the country will soon be hitting the waves on woollen surfboards as the lucky winners of a new competition run across the 2021/22 Surfing for Farmers’ season.

The surfboards – made from a new wool cloth sourced from New Zealand sheep – will be awarded to one lucky participant at each of the 23 Surfing for Farmers (SFF) locations around New Zealand, including in Raglan.

Around 30 farmers from all over Waikato – Hamilton, Waipa, Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, Waitomo, Te Kauwhata, Whatawhata, Pirongia, Te Akau, Taupiri and Glen Murray – took to the surf under the expert guidance of instructors from Raglan Surf School and Green Wave Raglan throughout the SFF season.

The surfboard competition was run by Rabobank, one of SFF’s premier sponsors, and the winners were announced at the season’s final SFF events during March

Speaking earlier this week, Rabobank New Zealand Country Banking general manager Bruce Weir said every participant at an SFF event over the season has gone into the draw to win one of the surfboards.

Launched in Gisborne in 2018, Surfing for Farmers encourages farmers to take a couple of hours each week to head to the surf to help better manage stress and improve mental health. The initiative has gone from strength to strength over recent years and more than 1000 farmers have attended events across the summer.

Weir says the bank has been involved with the initiative since its inception and Rabobank staff have played key roles in supporting the sessions at locations up and down the country.

“We’re very proud to support the SFF programme and the fantastic work it’s doing to reduce farmers’ stress and improve well-being. The events are free and provide an opportunity for those new to the sport to receive lessons and tips from a qualified instructor. The sessions also provide farmers with a chance to relax, grab a bite to eat and get to know some of the other participants.”

Weir says one of the key drivers behind the launch of the surfboard competition was the opportunity it provided to highlight just one of the amazing products that can be made from New Zealand wool.

“The wool industry in New Zealand has had a tough time over recent years, and as a food and agri banking specialist, we’re committed to playing our part to get it back on its feet.”

The surfboards being given away have been developed by Barron Surfboards in Tauranga and are made from woolight – a new wool cloth which replaces the traditional fiberglass. The woolight product is also now being used in the construction of a whole range of other products including boats, kayaks, swimming pools and spas.

“We’re really proud to be giving away the woollen surfboards as they’re not only a great way to show our support for the wool industry, but they’re also much better for the environment,” Mr Weir said.

In addition, he said, the surfboard giveaway would allow farmers to continue their involvement and progression with the sport.

“Over recent months I’ve headed down to a few of the SFF sessions at Ohope and Raglan and, from the discussions I’ve had with farmers in attendance, it’s pretty clear that a few of them have really got the surfing bug,” he said.

“I’m sure the boards will get plenty of use over the months ahead and that we’ll see the surfboard winners back to take part in the new SFF season later in the year.”


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