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Surfer for Farmers

Launched in Gisborne in 2018 by Stephen Thompson, 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.

Supporting rural health is important to our Client Councils and we’re proud to support the Surfing for Farmers initiative.

The programme runs in several regions including the Bay of Plenty and Canterbury from November and continues through the summer months until March.

Surfing for Farmers

The events offer those new to the sport the opportunity to receive lessons and tips from qualified instructors, while all the required gear is provided on the day to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved.

Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic social event with attendees enjoying a barbecue and drinks after the surfing.

Rabobank agribusiness area manager Phil Williams has been involved in the event since it came to Whakatane in late 2020.

Surfing for Farmers

“Surfing for Farmers is a fantastic initiative that brings farmers, growers and workers together to have fun, relax away from the farm and make new connections,” Phil says. “Each week brings new faces, some who have never surfed before, so it’s a great opportunity for people to learn a new skill while leaving the stresses of work at the farm.”

Galatea farmer Adam Barkla agrees. “This is my first year and I absolutely love it. It’s good fun and a really great opportunity for me and my family to catch up with old friends - and it’s just good to be out there surfing and forgetting about the farm. I’ve never surfed but I’m getting up - they have really good teachers. Afterwards we get to enjoy a BBQ and a couple of beers, there’s so many people bringing along the kids just having a good time.”

If you’d like to get involved in an event, you can find all the details of where and when the sessions are below.
For more information, contact your local Rabobank representative or visit the Surfing for Farmers Facebook page.

Location Start date Surfing for Farmers Contact
Pauanui Every Monday from 11th Jan, 10am Karl Davis (027 496 4633)
Waihi Beach Every Tuesday from 12th January, 5:30pm Mike Meade (027 659 0661)
Whakatane Every Tuesday from 12th January, 5:30pm Rabobank Area Manager: Phil Williams (027 499 5605)
Oliver Dobbins: 021 149 1972
Taranaki Every Tuesday from 12th January, 5:30pm Mark Dwyer (021 528 263)
Dean File (021 544 364)
Gisborne Every Tuesday from 12th January, 5:30pm Stephen Thomson (021 450 6531)
Sumner Beach Every Tuesday from 12th January, 6:15pm Sandra Taylor (021 151 8685)
Sandy Beach Every Wednesday from 13th January Calvin Ball (027 223 2894)
Ryan Baxter (021 809 569)
Raglan Every Wednesday from 13th January, 5:30pm Rabobank Agribusiness Manager: James Nesbit (027 297 4411)
Blake Fifeld (027 484 2843)
Wanda Leadbeater (021 180 2995)
Matte Kirk (027 222 2403)
Poranganhau Beach Every second Wednesday from 27th January, 4pm Andy Lee (027 354 8608)
Pouerere Beach Every second Wednesday from 10th February, 4pm Andy Lee (027 354 8608)
Oamaru Every Wednesday from 13th January, 6pm Rabobank Agribusiness Manager: Alfie Broughton (021 247 8542)
Colac Bay Every Thursday from the 14th of January, 6pm Leo Pekar (027 211 1389)
Tom Slee (021 027 29896)
Jess Terrill (027 864 7230)
Mt Maunganui Every Thursday from the 21st of January, 5:30pm Geoff Waite ( 027 601 4444)
Sarah Hickey (027 554 9257)
Waimarama Every second Thursday from the 21st of January, 4pm Tim Wynne-Lewis (027 488 9719)
Wairarapa Every Thursday from the 14th of January, 6pm Amanda Bowie (027 747 4011)
Gore Bay Every Thursday from the 14th of January, 6pm James Northcote (027 216 6822)
Tolaga Bay TBC Matt Jefferd (027 499 9205)

To learn more about what else we are doing in the community, click here.

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