While the country prepares for lockdown, one Kiwi surfing franchise had their busiest weekend since Christmas.

Backdoor chief executive Geoff Hutchison said surfboards were flying off the shelves ahead of the lockdown.

"We had a really strong day on Saturday and Sunday wasn't too bad as well, it was sort of like Christmas shopping."

Hutchison thinks the rush is due to people hoping to catch waves during the nationwide shutdown.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that New Zealand was at Covid-19 alert level 3 and would rise to alert level 4 on Wednesday, for at least four weeks.

Backdoor isn't the only surf company seeing a boost in sales - Wellington's Lyall Bay surf shop Organic Dynamic also reported being "flat-out" over the weekend.

"There was clearly a bit of panic buying of surfboards and surf equipment, but not so well with apparel."

Hutchison said surfing was an individual activity and if you go by yourself it seems to be safer than going to a store like The Warehouse.

"It appears that everyone is planning to [surf] but its a moving feast with what the rules are, I Just heard on the radio now that Noel Leeming and The Warehouse will be open and they don't seem essential to me."

And Hutchison's conclusion isn't unfounded.

A Ministry of Health statement said although people will be instructed to stay home from tomorrow, it doesn't mean people must remain indoors at all times.

"It's important during this period to stress that you may go for a walk, run, ride or other physical exercise, including surfing, but always keep a 2m distance from other people [not in your household] at all times."

Backdoor Chief executive Geoff Hutchison says many surfers will try catch waves during the lockdown. Photo / Supplied
Backdoor Chief executive Geoff Hutchison says many surfers will try catch waves during the lockdown. Photo / Supplied

But police commissioner Mike Bush said if you need to get in a car and you're not going to an essential service then this does not meet the criteria.

Coastguard New Zealand has called for Kiwis to stay out of the water during the lockdown period.

Chief executive Callum Gillespie said they've had a lot of calls and messages from the public asking if they're able to go out on the water during the lockdown period, and the answer is no.

"Should you get into difficulty, you will quickly want help from Coastguard volunteers and staff, requiring them to leave self-isolation and come together to help you."

He said as individuals we need to recognise that our actions can have an effect on others.

"Please don't put yourself or others at risk, stay off the water and out of harm's way as we unite against Covid-19."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website