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Oct 15, 2021

A 100% Authentic New Zealand Surf Film: ‘Bro Town’ from Elliot Paerata

Rip Curl team rider Elliot Paerata Reid and local boys Kehu Butler, Ware Wano and Dune Kennings make the most of the international travel restrictions and use it as the perfect opportunity to explore their own backyard, the beautiful New Zealand coastline.

Off the back of his new clip ‘Bro Town’, we caught up with Elliot to chat about all things surfing and life right now in New Zealand.

A Kiwi made surf film. Maori surfers taking on New Zealand waves.

We loved watching ‘Bro Town’, can you run us through the process of putting the film together?

"Last year was a weird year. The world basically shut down. We couldn’t travel internationally but it gave us a great opportunity to explore New Zealand’s coastlines throughout winter. I really liked the idea of making a surf film that was shot completely in New Zealand with an underground Maori cast."

What about the editing & music, were you involved, or did you leave it to filmmaker Billy Lee-Pope?

"I did the edit and chose the music for this film. I’ve always enjoyed editing my own clips. I was fortunate enough to have amazing footage to work with from Billy, Ryan and Andy. Billy helped me a lot throughout the project and steered me in the right direction. I sometimes think that the music should be heavy rock because that’s what all my favourite surfers use on their clips, but at the end of the day that’s not the music I listen too. For this project I just wanted to use the music that I like, instead of trying to make something for other people."

What did you enjoy most about ‘Bro Town’?

"I grew up with Waretini and Dune in Piha and I’ve been filming and making surf clips with the three of us since we were little kids. I think the part I enjoyed most about the project was including my day ones. Plus they both surf amazing and people outside of New Zealand probably haven’t heard of them."

Who is the biggest frother that was involved on the project?

"Probably my Dad. He’s been filming and making clips of me since I’ve been young. He filmed a lot of the clips for Bro Town. He was frothing when I showed him the finished project."

Any memorable ‘behind the scenes’ moments that you can share?

"We were driving from Gisborne to Raglan, (six hour drive).The sun was out and the tunes were making us feel a certain kind of way. We thought it would be rude if we didn’t have a cheeky night out. Next thing Billy has the manager of a bar on the phone and fully sussed me a gig. It ended up being a big night DJing with my friend at Raglans YOT Club."

You mention you’ve been in NZ for a while now, tell us what you’ve enjoyed most about spending time in NZ again.

"I think being able to surf great waves with only your mates out. Recently we had a day at our home break in Piha which was probably the best I’ve ever seen it. The waves were like Kirra with no one else out, other than a few of the boys."

Travelling has been on hold for a while, have you got any upcoming travel plans for when countries open up?

"My Dad has a house in west Sumbawa at a wave called Yo-Yos, one of my favourite waves to surf. I can’t wait to go back there, but it honestly doesn’t feel like a reality at the moment though."

It’s been a tricky time for events, what’s been going on with you in that space?

“Yeah there haven't been many events, but it’s been cool to use the time on other things. I’m doing a Te Reo Maori course at the moment. Learning how to speak the language properly and also learning more about the rich history of Maoridom. Some powerful stuff.”

What about at home, what’s your favorite event in NZ & why?

"Any Keyhole board riders event. It’s our local club and is always an exceptionally good time."

What is the best surfing you’ve witnessed this year?

"The best I’ve witnessed in person is watching Mick Fanning and Steph Gilmore out at Snapper. They were both riding twin fins and going twice as fast as anyone out there. The best I’ve ‘seen’ is Medina. He’s a boss. He got the bucket and the mop out this year!"

Tell us about the boards you’re riding, what’s your favourite at the moment?

"I’ve been riding for Pyzel for the last four years. They’re amazing, and out of all the boards I've had from them, I've never had a dud one. They are crazy good. The Highline with a round tail is my favourite. I also love my 6,6 Padillac for when it’s barrelling."

What about your ‘signature dish’ in the kitchen? If you’re cooking to impress your girl, what are you making?

"When I’m in damage control with my girlfriend I’ll make her san-choy-bau. That usually gets me out of the dog box."

Got a Non-sporting talent that you’re good at?

"Chess. My ancient Great Uncle Kurt taught me when I was really young. I used to play with him for hours."

What about your dream surf – who’s with you, where are you and what are the waves like?

"A session with Jonah Hill anywhere. That would be dope!"

 Images by Cory Scott from NZ Surfing Mag