Schnappers Point Spot ID
Reliability: fairly consistent
Best: Swell NW | Wind SSE
Sea Temperature Today is: 13.6 °C
Schnappers Point in Nelson is an exposed point break that has quite reliable surf. Spring and Summer provide the best conditions. The best wind direction is from the east southeast. Tends to receive distant groundswells and the ideal swell angle is from the north. Best around mid tide when the tide is falling. Rarely crowded here.
Overall Schnappers Point Surf Consistency and Wind Distribution in September
This picture shows the combination of swells directed at Schnappers Point through an av... (show all text)
The figure illustrates how often and how strongly the wind blows from different directi... (show all text)
The two graphs above are also combined in the single Schnappers Point surf consistency graph.
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Use this relief map to navigate to Nelson - Tasman Bay surf spots and tide stations that are in the area of Schnappers Point
Visitor Reviews of Schnappers Point
“Schnapper (Snapper) point is by far the most popular break in the Nelson district.
It is located out on the boulder bank, just past the oxidation ponds. It's a nicer setting than it sounds and the views over to the often snow-covered Tasman Mountain is spectacular.
Where the dirt road first reaches the sea you will get a nice view of the swell. Schnappers is usually a but bigger than here so if it looks like there is any swell at all, keep going.
When it is on, it can get crowded by Nelson locals, especially at weekends, but the atmosphere is friendly and there are usually enough waves to go round. The main wave is a steep right hander that can provide makeable hollow sections. There is a left too and although this is described as a close-out in some surf guides, I have found it very good at times with much less competition for waves than the right. The paddle out (and back in) over slippery boulders can be a challenge if you are not wearing boots and often you have to work against the current to stay in position.
Although the Nelson region doesn't receive a lot of swell it would be a mistake for traveling surfers to dismiss it completely because the quality of waves can be excellent and it is certainly one of New Zealand's best towns. Occasionally, when the famous Kaikora coast is either flat or onshore, the Nelson area, 4 hours drive away, is going off.
The reason visiting surfers generally overlooked it is that NW swells are uncommon and usually they are accompanied by onshore winds. Surfing in Nelson usually involves picking the brief window when the wind has dropped but the locally generated swell is still running. Locals get this right and are on it very quickly whereas the chances of passing through Nelson and finding good waves is pretty slim.
It doesn't usually last more than a couple of days, often just a few hours. The much more common SW swells in the Tasman that are so good reliable Taranaki pass Nelson by, on the other side of distant Farewell Spit so all in all there is just a tiny window of swell directions that can get in here; a little better along the coast at Whangamoa.
The exception to the rule that you only get to surf fading windswells is when a sub-tropical depression drops into the Tasman and sends a rare NW groundswell directly into Tasman Bay. When that happens all kinds of weird and wonderful spots start to fire and places like Schnapper, The Cut and Cable Bay approach the quality of New Zealand's more famous locations.”
Rob Davies from NEW ZEALAND - 06 Mar 2010
- The closest passenger airport to Schnappers Point is Nelson Airport (NSN) in New Zealand, 18 km (11 miles) away (directly).
- The second nearest airport to Schnappers Point is Woodbourne Airport (BHE), also in New Zealand, 56 km (35 miles) away.
- Third is Wellington International Airport (WLG) in New Zealand, 121 km (75 miles) away.
- Paraparaumu Airport (PPQ) in New Zealand is 140 km (87 miles) away.
- Westport Airport (WSZ), also in New Zealand is the fifth nearest airport to Schnappers Point and is 161 km (100 miles) away.
This is the Surf-Forecast page for Schnappers Point, Nelson - Tasman Bay. Use the tab navigation above to view Schnappers Point sea temperature, Schnappers Point photographs, Schnappers Point detailed swell predictions, wind and weather forecasts, Schnappers Point webcams, current wind from Nelson - Tasman Bay live weather stations and Schnappers Point tide predictions. The New Zealand swell maps link will open up the big picture showing New Zealand and the surrounding seas. These swell maps can be animated to show the different swell components, wave energy, wave period, wave heights, together with wind and weather forecasts, current weather and sea state observations from New Zealand wave-buoys, passing ships and coastal weather stations. Each of the forecast pages for this surf break feature a global and regional wavefinder tool to locate the best surf conditions in the area around Schnappers Point.