Getting to the bottom of naturism ...

KELLY BURNS
Nick Lowe bares all at the Hawke's Bay Outdoor Leisure Club, Glengarry Road, near Napier. PICTURE: DUNCAN BROWN Grin and bare it say Hawke's Bay naturists - and they certainly do.
While most people cringe at the thought of getting their kit off in public, these naturists are more than comfortable in just their skin.
Hawke's Bay Outdoor Leisure Club president Nick Lowe believes nudity is a lifestyle choice - and a good one at that. He's inviting locals to come up and visit the club at today's open day - part of national "Gonatural Week".
Mr Lowe hates wearing clothes and enjoys the freedom of being nude.
"They are restrictive and when you go swimming, who wants clammy togs clinging to you?"
The cheeky club boasts about 80 members from all walks of life, including lawyers, accountants, housewives, firefighters, plumbers and many retirees.
A peaceful recluse, the club has a swimming pool - no togs allowed - a volleyball court and a playground for kids.
Most members converge on the grounds for day trips or stay in their privately owned holiday homes.
Here they soak up the sun and meet like-minded people.
But it is slip, slop, slap inside the club gates.
Mr Lowe reckons nudists are more aware of the dangers of melanoma than most.
"Naturists are generally sun-conscious, there are certain things you don't want burnt."
He encourages people to engage in "social nudity" and join the club - even his mother became a member two years ago.
But perverts be warned - there is a strong veto structure in place, including a national database, to weed out any unfavourable applicants.
"Freaks don't slip through the system," Mr Lowe says.
PJ, 77, a club member for 41 years, enjoys the safety and security of the club.
He says people shouldn't knock it until they give it a go.
"You really don't know what you are missing until you try it."
The public can visit the club from 10am to 4pm for a fun sports and recreation day.

It will be clothes on for the first three hours, then anything goes.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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