After running the DK Surf School for three years at Auckland’s Orewa Beach, Daniel Kereopa and his partner Renee Davenport are bringing their skills and knowledge to the shores of Whaingaroa.
For Daniel, it’s not so much the time he has spent winning competitions and representing Whaingaroa on a National or International level, but in how he uses what he has learned moving forward.
Growing up in the waters of Whaingaroa, Daniel was tasked with learning how to interact with the ocean, which has since become the foundation of the DK Surf School.
The pair will continue to run their business in Auckland a few days a week, but their time there has helped them to solidify what sets them apart as both a business and as instructors.
They’re ready now to return to the roots of the DK journey.
Daniel and Renee believe in taking care of New Zealand’s children. Through the DK Surf School, they utilise their experience with the surf and their passion for the water, and channel it into providing a new experience for kids who might not have the opportunity to try surfing otherwise.
A big part of Daniel’s vision in bringing the DK Surf School home, is to someday see more of the local kids of Whaingaroa out on Ngarunui Beach, working for Surf Life Saving, volunteering for the Coastguard, navigating the coastline and protecting the visitors.
As a beachside town known around the world for its surf, you don’t see a lot of the local kids out in the water – Daniel and Renee are setting out to change that.
While their aim is to teach kids how to surf, they also teach skills and knowledge that can be used in other life situations.
“There are jobs available for them if they are confident in navigating the water. We want to bridge that gap for them. Making surf lessons more accessible is just one way of doing that.” Daniel stated.
“The local kids need the opportunity to learn about their coastline, to understand how the currents work and how to make smarter choices while in the water.”
“When you know what you’re doing, the ocean is something you can enjoy on your own or you can enjoy with friends. But most importantly it’s something you can enjoy your whole life,” said Renee.
DK Surf School provides lessons, after-school and holiday programmes, week long surf camps, and starting next Thursday the 19th, they’ll try out their first Raglan based 8-week surf programme, open to all ages, 7 years and up.
Lessons are taught using kaupapa Māori and Daniel shares the stories of his people to bring inspiration into the learning environment.
And they run their camps as a total immersion experience, meaning the kids become a whānau. They eat together, sleep marae style, learn together and surf together.
“They have to learn to work as a team. It’s less telling and more doing, leading by example. We’re right there with them through every step of the camp.” said Daniel. “By challenging them, we empower them.”
Torpedo 7 believes in the vision and kaupapa of the DK Surf School and has come on to support them, making it possible for the DK Surf School to have access to all the equipment one might need to learn how to surf.
“We have a chance to really focus on the local kids. All it took was a small shift in the mentality and the structure of what we were doing.”
Combating the waters of the wild west coast is no easy task, but when you’re connected with the elements and you have the education of the environment, you’ll feel more resilient and safe out in the surf.
Explore the DK Surf School at www.dksurfing.com.
The 2017 Term 4 8-week Programme starts on Thursday 19 October. For bookings or more information text 022 435 7873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.