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 Lee