Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A week in Surf City

Last thursday afternoon saw yet another big windy Norwester blast our shores with the swell picking up super fast and the only thing really on offer in the afternoon being some 4 to 6ft chunks at The Glen. As if that wasnt bad enough Friday morning saw even stronger Northwesterly gusts with venturing outside almost seeming dangerous.

I was off to to Westport at midday for the Cape Classic surf comp and as murphys law would have it, as soon as I left Richmond the wind dropped and went Southwest and the sun came out. Graeme Bird and Bruce Wilson obviously had their thinking caps on and jumped in the boat and headed over the hill and round the way and got some good overhead waves whilst the rest of the crew played catchup being joined later by Olin Pilcher and Nigel Keeley. Rabbit Island and even Tahunanui also threw down some fun waves with the offshore and high tide. Saturday morning saw some fun wind affected Snappers go down for the desperate crew who were there from first light making the most of what was left over and entering into Sunday there was still some leftovers with the swell holding a WNW direction for those who knew where to look.....

Hitler's surf trip ruined Redux

This one came out a few years back but well worth a re-look,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Photo of the Week


This weeks photo of the week is of James Laird, puffing cheeks and ready for a Snappers right bowl.
Photo courtesy of Bill evans.
On a quick note I hope everyone has enjoyed Mike and Bruce's stories from below as much as I have. So great to read other peoples stuff and getting some alternate viewpoints on the blog so put pen to paper people and start composing your own little stories of missions be it local or otherwise. Makes for great reading.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mates on a Mission

Forty knot winds , storm warnings and gnarly weather out of the Tasman is what gets every Nelson surfer frothing.Our excitement was high and we were up hours before sunrise getting the boat ready , food , boards and warm gear. The swell was forecast to drop pretty quickly but with light winds we were keen on a mission. Driven by a desire to escape the crowds and to go and explore an isolated stretch of coast in search of new and maybe never before ridden waves , we were off in search of our own back yard nirvana. After a long gut churning drive , we finally arrived at the end of the gravel road.With a long way to go still ,we set off across the pass notorious for its swirling currents , huge flows and many boat wrecks. As we neared the exposed side of the island the boat was dipping into some deep ocean swells and our hopes were rising.I had been checking this part of coast for years , usually on a calm day with a fishing rod in hand , wondering what all those kinks and reefs would do in a swell?We had been here with boards a couple of times but never had great conditions and been teased by the potential.This part of the island is extremely exposed and very isolated with no roads , farms , tracks , houses or any sign of civilization at all , just pure south island wilderness.

 When we arrived at our destination the tide was not quite right so we motored around the corner to another potential spot and it was peeling , big on the sets and breaking right in front of raw rocks and cliffs . Super exposed , we went in for a closer look. A large set loomed out of the grey sea and broke violently down the reef.

Keni had been quietly watching from under his hoody and when i said (half jokingly) you keen on that bro , he turned round and said yeah mate keen as!! Mark mumbled something about being from Tasmania and then they were over the edge and paddling towards this psycho wave.With swirling winds and currents and not good anchorage in the reefy foul i was a bit relieved to have to stay with the boat. I did wonder how i would explain to Linda and Debs how i had let the fellas go out there if things went wrong.Any way the boys charged it and started to pick off some medium ones. It looked heavy and close to the rocks. I could see the point we had just checked starting to peel with an offshore and when Keni started to paddle further inside towards some gnarly looking reef with with no safe exit , i called the boys back to the boat . They were pretty stoked but i was keen to get some waves so we pulled up the anchor and headed back to the point.

 When we got there a nice set peeled all the way down the point and we knew we had scored.There was a good anchorage and i quickly waxed my board and jumped in after Mark and Keni who were already out there.

 The waves were peeling and we surfed for hours.

 The swell was dropping off pretty quickly and i went in to the beach to get a few snaps of the boys and take it all in.Some goat skeletons , fishing buoys and discarded boat rubbish was the only sign of any other civilization and it was a tranquil moment as waves peeled gently down the point.We had enough so rode the swells back to the boat ramp , stoked with the whole mission.When we eventually got back to Nelson the sun was out , it was offshore and the local break was offering long shoulder high barrels with a a bunch of local guys enjoying it , about as good as it gets at that size. Cleaning of the boat could wait as we paddled out for more. It was a dream day in Nelson and i sank into the couch totally washed out and stoked.

Photos and story by Bruce Wilson.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Slouch.... A short Sea Story

... well, I like to think that im no slouch - not that its a choice so much as a driven thing, if you know what I mean - an unquenchable desire to Do ... absolutely man, lets do it! If there is no-one to do it with, I tend to do it anyway, but lets face it, unless you are in a particularly Zen moment, its nicer doing it with friends aye? So last night, with this firmly in my subconscious, at 5.30pm I joined Marky Mark Nichols and another friend, Wairarapa Rob in his tinny at the Akersten St slipway and in our wetties, took off into the swarming gloom and 40knot winds to go and surf The Cut, next to Haulashore Island.

On the way there we were heading with the weather, but I was glad of the 3mm vest/hood I had on under my winter steamer, because I planned to bodysurf the spot and I wanted to be toasty warm. Marky is an old hand at The Cut but I had been waiting for a while now, to bodysurf it and looking at the top two images below, you might be able to see why I wanted to get in there. Bodysurfing on a small handboard, which I have practiced extensively over the last four years, ideally needs a hollow wave and this spot is renowned for delivering just that. We arrived in the nook just behind The Cut on the Haven side of the Boulder Bank and after an interesting struggle to moor the tinny (Rob nearly broke both Marky`s legs in his efforts to tie up) we jumped overboard and swam/paddled to the Bank for a looksee over the other side. So in my minds eye I was seeing the first two pics below, but in reality it was the following pics (these were taken at The Glen after I got home) which greeted our hunched-against-the- 40 knot- stormforce-wind-forms. Marky reckoned that if you hug the concrete and wood structure (see first pic) there is a back-eddy and you dont get sucked down the Bank and with this in mind the three of us dived into the maelstrom. Of course, I had spotted what I thought to be a more makeable section a little further out and before you could say Shag-on-a-rock, the current had me and I was gone ... the tide was coming in so no worries - I just had a speed-blur vision of passing rocks and the two forms of Marky and Rob walking back, as I swam back over to the Bank. Getting in and out on boulders while wearing swim-fins is always a challenge and as the surge unceremoniously spat me up the Bank, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had been very toasty warm throughout my (en-)light`ning trip. Rob and I sat on the Bank in the gathering gloom and watched Marky duck-dive 50 unmakeable waves in 30 mins until it finally dawned on us ... 'Its not going to work bro!' and we headed back, somewhat thankfully, to the security of the tinny.

 Surfing in such outrageous conditions in such full-on surroundings (calculated risk - we are all very experienced surfers) was nothing to the insane high-speed run in the tinny, back up the Haven - against the weather! Spine jarring, gut-wrenching, water-smakking 10 mins later, we arrived back at the slipway, pleased as hell with our adventure and looking forward to home and families, warm fires and food. I had picked up a large, heart-shaped stone which I managed to swim back to the boat as a present for Janice, my partner and climbing into the boat, I left it on the transom. When Rob climbed up, he saw it and in astonishment said, 'Where did that come from?' I very nearly told him the wind had blown it off the Boulder Bank onto the boat ... Words by Mike Baker.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Club Meet a Small Success

Saturday afternoon saw about  a dozen of us get together for a BBQ and combined with wives and children
it didnt take long for the foot traffic to become heavy. Good food and good weather made for stunning scenery and jovial conversation. Smack bang in the middle of the holidays meant a few couldnt make it but the crew that turned up were the ever-strong and thanks we had a good afternoon!!
A few conversations regarding the club went down which I will elaborate on further down the page but just firstly, a personal point of view we have approximately 35 members on the books contributing to the club each year and it kind of leaves me wondering what and why people join?? Surely its not for stickers and t-shirts so maybe its a sense of belonging which then again poses the question... what is is that you want to belong? Anyhow, one idea that arose from the afternoon was perhaps a facebook page for the club and that way more people could get involved and have input. I personally think it would water-down the boardriders site and with 2/3 of members not involved with FB maybe not that useful, however there is a Nelson Weekend Warrior FB page just developed so check it out Nelson Weekend Warrior FB Page

The one thing on everyones lips at the moment is the state of road and carpark at Snappers so anyone keen to help out with organising a fix to that and in general helping out with anything and ideas always feel free to email nelsonboardriders@hotmail dot com.

See you in the water,


Friday, October 4, 2013