14 Jan 2022

92-year-old's love for the surf still going strong

From Summer Times, 10:35 am on 14 January 2022

Nancy Meherne is a keen gardener and classical music fan.

You might also spot her surfing at Christchurch's Scarborough Beach.

92-year-old surfer Nancy Meherne heads out to catch some waves

92-year-old surfer Nancy Meherne heads out to catch some waves Photo: Anna Frances Pearson

After moving to Christchurch at 17, one of the first things Nancy did was catch a tram to Sumner Beach.

"I started falling in love the minute I got over that bridge and saw all this wonderful water."

She wasn't aware of surfers that day but made plans to one day live in Sumner.

A few years later, she got engaged to her husband Doug on the beach.

Their three children were all given surfboards when they turned 10, and son Patrick was successful at the sport, Nancy says,

One day, when Nancy was in her 40s and painting the kitchen, Patrick said she should give surfing a go herself, and she did.

"I got right in and I loved it. Exciting."

Since Christmas, Nancy has been out surfing ten times in "wonderful waves".

"You wait for a good size wave and the seventh one is often a very good one…If you go down with the wave and go in, it's lovely. It doesn't hurt or anything. You just go floating in.

"I don't go way, way out. I go as far as I can to get a big wave and in we go."

Over the years, Nancy has fallen off her board a few times but will keep surfing as long as she can.

"If something happens and I can't do it, I'll have to stop, I suppose. But in the meantime I'm alright."

Nancy was recently the subject in a short film (that you can watch below) and a Guardian piece by Anna Frances Pearson: