The Start

When I arrived in New Zealand I had no boat. Clearly, this was going to be problematic. So I decided to head to Bliss Stick's factory outside of Tiahape, about an hour and a half out of Palmerston North, where I'm going to school. I caught a ride with some friends who were going skiing. As it turns out, the factory isn't "just outside" Taihape. It's like 15 or 20 miles away. As my new friends were driving farther and farther out of their way they were getting more and more impatient. Lots of sighing and looking around. Eventually one of them said "this is getting rediculious." I agreed. Eventually they hit some road construction and dumped me off, and I hiked the rest of the way to the factory. I met the owner of Bliss Stick, Charles Sage, and he gave me the full tour, then got me outfitted with a boat, a Super Rad 180. It was a demo boat with a bit of oilcanning, but that also meant I could afford it. Sweet as.

I caught a ride home with one of the shapers, Phillip, the next day after crashing on his couch. All in all, it was a pretty successful expedition. Over the next week I found myself a paddle and borrowed a PFD and I was ready to get out on the water.

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