New Zealand’s most iconic surf break, this break was introduced to the global surfing stage through Bruce Brown’s film Endless Summer in 1966. Manu Bay is the last in a succession, from west to east, of several point breaks in Raglan that are predominately made up of rocky outcroppings and boulders, but are also dependent on sand movement. This consistent and long left-hander is known around the world and has hosted many national and international surfing competitions.
In the late 1960’s the boat ramp and breakwater at Manu Bay were constructed. Concerns with impacts on coastal processes and the surfing resource were never considered at the time. The structures interrupt the natural fan-shape of the boulder field at Manu some three quarters of the way along west to east, where during construction sub and intertidal substrate was excavated from a c.2,000 square metre area. The presence of the breakwater has caused a large scour hole on it’s western side. The combination of scour hole, breakwater and excavated area has resulted in the loss of an estimated c.200 m of the surf break.
Photo taken by Jwan Millek