Saturday, December 28, 2013

2014 - Are you Ready For Action?

One could almost gaze into the coming weeks forecast charts and think someone was playing some kind of joke on Nelson surfers as the New Year looks set to start like no other with two large swells on their way within the first week. The point of difference with these two incoming forecast charts is that they look like the "back in the day" type blasts where Cable Bay would break every swell and Snappers would be 6ft.
(above): "Back in the day" Cable Bay.

There didnt used to be "swellmap", nor "moronweather" and the only way you knew there was going to be waves was either because your house was flooding or you read it in the Nelson Mail. One thing in particular to note about these forecasts is it HAS and IS breaking the last few years summer trends of flatness and there is one thing in particular we have also been missing in summer these last few years and we all know what that C word is.........

Monday, December 9, 2013

1970's Part II

As i said it was a great time to grow up in Nelson & to be part of the changes surfing went thru then
and changes in society (one of the posters painted on the wall of the club had 'the seedbed of psychic
revolution" as its main message & for many of us it was a time of great change, i guess some of us were
sort of hippie surfers, think "morning of the earth" types

we were great travellers coming down to kaikoura & over to the west coast at every opportunity, 5 or 6 of us
stayed in a barn at the meatworks for 4 weeks one summer, i think it was the year of school cert results & we
went down to chch to celebrate passing but unfortunately Jeff Andrews & myself went thru a give way sign a
wee bit worse for wear & crashed the van. the van was full of alcohol for the boys & it was running out a hole in the side, we
had covered it with a blanket but the traffic cop lifted the blanket & saw it all & i got a ticket & even tho we could barely
stand he let us tie the door back on the van & drive away - different times
The van was so knackered that we had to reverse up the last few miles of the whangamoa as it wouldnt go up in first gear.
The van got a new engine & made it thru a few more months before finally dying

I saw a few boards get smashed up at the cut pre leg ropes, Hamish MacGibbon took a brand new quane board out there
& lost the fin & got it bashed up on the big blocks there, we mostly surfed there at low tide & it was basically drop in, tuck up,
get tubed & out the other end if you were lucky

i feel blessed to have grown up there at that time with a great group of friends - some im still in regular contact with & some
i havent seen for 40yrs & still think about & miss - Brett & Don Longley, Kevin Burgess, Warwick Freeman & many others

i regret losing most of my fotos as i had a lot but lent them to someone for a magazine article 40yrs ago & they were never returned

I still have a longboard but it hasnt got wet for a while now as i have a few health & fitness issues but i go out to maungamaunu
& kahautara at every chance & watch & am a surf movie fan

I was stoked to find your site & to know you guys are still surfing there & loving snappers (we tried to stop the sewerage outflow)

perhaps we will meet up some time & i can tell you some more old stories ( Max the Fly & the Epitaph Riders & the barn fire at meat works  &
many more),,
we were a wild lot & had a lot of fun except for getting chased at night by the V8 guys, got the bash a few times just for being a surfer,
but for the most part we just had fun

cheers Mark, i hope you get lots of great waves at snappers, the website is fantastic, it had quite an effect on me seeing it
kia ora to the brothers & sisters,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Changing of the Guard or Revolving Door?

Sitting watching pumping Snappers on Thursday evening with my boy I couldnt help  but get a bit nostalgic as I watched what probably as a whole was the some of the best surfing I have seen going down in the water by local surfers. Uni return Marco Edwards was definately blowing up on his blue 7S fish along with Karl Sharps, Ben(Shocker)Robbo and Hayden Goulding, but not only these guys basically everyone was surfing great and it was awesome to see. Hard to watch but then again I was super surfed out from the last 24hours anyhow. Snappers had done its classic pickup the night before ... half a foot at 5pm...2ft by 6pm and some 4ft plus sets suspiciously approaching 5ft by dark. Thursday basically pumped all day although the morning session was a little bit strange due to the big tides.
It was crowded, the carpark was full and I definately pondered the possibility that perhaps this was partly my own fault due to this blog/clubs popularity ( The internet tells me to go surfing!!) combined with the fact that surfing in general along with surf forecasting has come along way in the last 5 years. The time of the year and water temperature all come into play but then again there were definately a lot of new faces in the water made up mostly of younger crew.
When I thought about it though, I remember 11 years ago not being able to find a carpark also so I guess there is no real science to it as it is the revolving door that is the Nelson surf community.

At the end of the day I turned this whole paranoia on its head and looked at the brightside.
Great to see the skill level rising, great to see young crew getting into it and even greater to see two guys at another location scoring absolutely perfect waves to themselves this same evening. Sam and Andy. you know who you are...

With that, I bid adieu.........


An email I thought I would share from an old local Nelson surfer Lee Homan.

i was looking at your website, great by the way, and i thought you might like to see these 
photos of Snappers from 1970 ( think i wagged school 2 days in a row to surf this swell)
that august Snappers had some monumental swells but unfortunately all my photos were lost
except for a few. Some of the sets were a lot bigger & i remember getting really cleaned up a 
few times that week & still have bits of urchin spines in my feet from then

I did have photos that documented early surfing in Nelson - i started in about '63-4 on hollow plywood
boards (with bungs) that we borrowed from clubbies - they were mostly about 10-12ft long & weighed 
a ton & often 2 or 3 of us would ride them together as after they had been in the water it took at 
least 3 of us to carry them

I got my first proper board in 66 ( 9'3" Del) followed by quite a few more, the board i'm riding is a 6'3" 
Peter Way & it was a ripper

I guess you know that the Nelson Boardriders Club was first formed way back then & we even scored a small 
part of the old changing shed at tahuna as a clubhouse, complete with psychedelic posters done by members,
board racks & lots of grotty old towels.
I still have a copy of each of 2 small magazines that were produced by club members back then & we kept a 
book for years that documented every swell & conditions along with weather maps
The bottom photo was taken at a contest in westport between nelson college & westport college in 1970, I cant 
remember how we managed to convince the college to go along but it was a school day & we went down without teachers
to compete
mostly we just wagged school whenever the surf was good & i got caned many,many times for this
it was a great time to live in Nelson as we travelled around the top of the south island looking for new breaks,
myself & 3 friends were the first to surf whangamoa bar & we did many trips to kaikoura (where i live now) &
westport (some long swims there with no leg ropes). I had an old fordson van (top speed 45-50mph downhill
with a tail wind) that put in a lot of hard miles & lost its muffler & exhaust lots of times on bad roads looking for waves
Its great to hear surfing is still going strong in nelson - do you still surf the cut ?

so long

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