Ruby Bay Reviews and Ratings
(New-Zealand – Nelson – Tasman Bay)
Visitor reviews of Ruby Bay surf break
March 06, 2010
Rob Davies from New Zealand
Could Ruby Bay be the mellowest wave in the World? The only place I have ever surfed that provides such soft waves that peel for such big distances in the Kyle of Tongue on the north coast of Scotland.
It's a nice spot, with an good campsite next to the beach. It really needs a big NW swell to work because there is such a small window of exposure into Tasman Bay. Most often, it works the day after a NW gale has generated a big local wind swell.
The wave peels for hundreds of metres over sand and gravel, mostly a very long left but with shorter sections that peel right back to the beach. In theory, it should be possible to ride waves for more than a kilometer, maybe two on one of those rare days every 5 years when the is a big NW cyclone swell. Heading West around the headland in the direction of Motueka it looks as if there are any number of spots that could also work if the swell is big enough.
For longboards, paddle boards and learners who like their surf slow and mellow, this is a good spot but for shortboarders if you see small waves at Ruby Bay and the wind is light, head to Schnappers because it will be much bigger and much more punchy. If Ruby Bay actually looks big enough to justify a short-board, just imagine how much better Cable Bay must be, or even high tide at nearby Rabbit Island.
Mapua is not far away and provides shops, pubs and eateries as well as places to stay if you don't camp right here. Head down to the Wharf area.
Ruby Bay Ratings
Based on 3 votes. Vote
Quality on a good day: 3.7
(1 star: Even when the swell and winds are optimum, the waves are poor quality, 5 stars: If conditions are right, the waves will be World Class).
Consistency of Surf: 1.7
(1: Ruby Bay is a fickle surf spot that only works a few times a year. 5: Reliable year-round spot).
Regional Rating: 2.5
(1: Ruby Bay is usually very poor quality compared to other spots in New-Zealand - Nelson - Tasman Bay. 5: the best break in New-Zealand - Nelson - Tasman Bay).
Difficulty Level: 1.3
(1: Suitable for Groms. 3: Intermediates. 5: Expert tow-in surfers only).
Onshore Wind: 2.0
(1: even a light onshore ruins the surf. 5: Ruby Bay can offer better rides with a light wind behind them).
Other Options: 3.5
(1: If wind or tide conditions are poor at Ruby Bay, it will be poor everywhere nearby. 5: other locations nearby provide a rich variety of wind and swell exposures).
Wind and Kite Surfing: 1.5
(1: An unsuitable spot. 5: Wind and wave conditions at Ruby Bay are often excellent).
Water Quality: 4.0
(1: Known health risks from pollution. 5: Never any pollution).
(1: Often too crowded. 5: Ruby Bay is an isolated spot where you are unlikely to meet other surfers).
(1: Getting to Ruby Bay requires an overland expedition or chartering a boat. 3: A 30 minute walk from the nearest parking. 5: Park a vehicle right by the break).
(1: An ugly industrial backdrop. 5: A spectacular setting).
Local Attitude: 5.0
(1: Locals are hostile to visitors. 5: Either there are no locals who surf, or else they are accommodating and friendly).
(1: No convenient places to stay indoors. 5: A wide variety of accommodation near Ruby Bay for all budgets from hostels to luxury hotels).
(1: Camping at Ruby Bay is not possible. 3: Camping tolerated but no facilities. 5: A nearby camp ground has excellent facilities and a good vibe).
(1: Besides the surf and the solitude there is nothing to do when it is flat. 5: Ruby Bay is in such an interesting area to visit that getting wet is a bonus).
Equipment and Repairs: 1.0
(1: Nothing can be sourced, not even wax. 5: Quality surfing equipment can be purchased or hired. Major repairs can be fixed too).
(1: Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. 5: A wide variety of places to eat and drink at Ruby Bay, from fast food and cafes to fancy restaurants).
(1: Alcohol is not allowed in the country. 5: There is an excellent pub near Ruby Bay where you can stay or park a camper van overnight).
Based on 3 votes. Vote