Paddling for charity

Surfers Felix Hirling and David Seidel are paddling from Mayor Island to Mount Maunganui Main Beach to promote mental health. Photo: John Borren.

Keen surfers Felix Hirling and David Seidel are paddling all the way from Mayor Island to Mount Maunganui Main Beach in the name of reaching their $6000 fundraising goal for the local surf therapy charity, Live for More.

They are also organising a raffle with local Mount Maunganui shops and have set up a donation page online. Their two-week weather window for completing this challenge started on March 25.

While the pair are both keen surfers, David already has some experience with pushing his body to the limit.

“Around this time last year, I paddled across the Cook Straight on my long board surfboard,” says David.

“Dave did this last year to test his own will and do it as a challenge to see how his mind and body would hold up when pushed to the limit, and we were in the boat supporting him,” says Felix.

“While waiting to go back to Wellington we had a big debrief on what happened. I said to Dave I was really inspired by him pushing himself to his physical and mental limits and saw benefits in doing the challenge. I said to Dave: ‘Why not do it again but this time for charity?’”

“He was a bit battered and worn out and said he wasn’t keen on doing it again.”

But it did not take long for the pair to develop the hunger for attacking a challenge like this together, and they both started looking for a charity to raise money for.

“We both decided we wanted to support a local charity that works in the mental health space, and since we grew up surfing together, we understand the importance of being active outdoors with your mates.”

“Live For More fits in perfectly with our values,” says David.

The Live For More organisation supports young men who are in a vulnerable situation in life to engage in surf therapy, a method of combining surfing with structured individual or group activities that promote wellbeing.

It combines Felix’s and Dave’s passion for surfing with the goal of improving young men’s mental health.

“We’ve been surfing together for about 20 years, so it is really cool to be able to give back promoting something we are so passionate about.”

Additionally, there will also be a raffle with more than $1500 worth of prizes for people who partake, which has been sponsored by a variety of Mount Maunganui businesses. This raffle will be drawn on Friday, April 15.

Felix and David will look to complete their paddling challenge on longboard surfboards from Mayor Island to Mount Maunganui beach sometime between March 25 and April 8.

Information on their journey and raffle is on their Facebook page ‘A Mayor Paddle’. To donate, visit:


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter