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Patons Rock break guidePhoto by: Rob Davies

Patons Rock Surf Guide

Patons Rock in Nelson - Tasman Bay is a fairly exposed beach and reef break. Summer in particular tends to be flat. Offshore winds blow from the south with some shelter here from southeast winds. Able to handle light onshore wind The location means that groundswells are unknown and the best wave direction is from the east northeast. Waves at the beach break both left and right. Crowds are never a problem here.

Patons Rock Spot Info

Icon beach  redBeach and reefIcon  s33.1
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
rarely breaks
12.4°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Patons Rock:

The best conditions reported for surf at Patons Rock occur when a East-northeast swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the South.

Surf Forecasts:

What's the best time of year to surf Patons Rock (for consistent clean waves)?

januaryBest Season: winter
The best time of year for surfing Patons Rock with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Winter and most often the month of January. Clean surfable waves are typically found 0% of the time in January while 1% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 98% of the time it is considered too small by most surfers but may still be OK for beginners and groms at times.
Surfable waves that hold up well for longer rides in prevailing cross-offshore, offshore or light wind conditions.
blown out
Surfable sized waves that are of poorer quality due to prevailing onshore, cross-onshore or windy conditions (may be preferable for kitesurfing).
too small
Waves usually considered too small for good surf. Some wave-magnet breaks may still work though if conditions are right (on occasion).

Explore Patons Rock Location Map

Interactive Patons Rock surf break location map. View information about nearby surf breaks, their wave consistency and rating compared to other spots in the region. Current swell conditions from local buoys are shown along with live wind speed and direction from nearby weather stations. Click icons on the map for more detail. The closest passenger airport to Patons Rock is Nelson Airport (NSN) in New Zealand, 69 km (43 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Patons Rock is Woodbourne Airport (BHE), also in New Zealand, 124 km (77 miles) away.

Icon breakBreak
Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
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Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Patons Rock Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Thursday, 18 August 2022, 23:51 Local Time
ThuFriday 19
Wave (m)
Period (s) - - - -
Wind (km/h)
Wind State cross-

Swell History at Patons Rock

Surf stats for Patons Rock, see the swell variation by month or season on the history page here.

Wind History at Patons Rock

Wind stats for Patons Rock, see the variation in direction and stength by month or season on the history page here.

Patons Rock Reviews:

Interactive Porthcawl Point location map. View nearby buoy information, live wind conditions and surrounding roads, paths and locations to help find new breaks. Click the buoys or wind icon to view more information.

Based on 3 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s33.1
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s22.0
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s11.0
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s11.0
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s44.0
  • Crowds:Icon  s55.0
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
Rob Davies from New Zealand
“Patons Rock? In Golden Bay? I'm joking right?

With the fickle but quality Nelson breaks like Schnappers to the east of here and the relentless Southern Ocean swells of the West Coast in the other direction, it's a rare day when surfers bother with the inside of Golden Bay, but now and then it works and when it works, it's surprisingly ok and can feel less like a windswell than you would imagine, especially if the wave period is in double digits.

The short stretch of Golden Bay between here and about Para Para is open to about 150kms of easterly fetch, as far as Wanganui in one direction and the Kapiti Coast in the other. If there is a strong wind in this 45 degree window, roughly between NE and E, it kicks up a swell and helpfully there is even a wavebuoy in the middle of Golden Bay that records it live. Once it gets over about 2m (it can get to about 4m) there will be waves in Golden Bay. Although there is a 15km stretch of coast that has all kinds of potentially nice set-ups, Patons Rock seems about the most reliable for cleaning up the swell as the wind swings cross or even off-shore. Even then, it only breaks perhaps 5 or 10 days per year, usually in autumn or winter when depressions and cyclones pass over North Island. When it does break, waves are a lot like high-tide at Rabbit Island; i.e. shoulder high and quite punchy.

Nearby Onekaka, Para Para and Milnthorpe can all produce shoulder to over head-high waves, but they tend to be straight onshore at that size. By working the angle of wind and waves, there can be good windsurfing and kitesurfing too.”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Patons Rock. Click below to view there surf guides.

Wave Buoys Nearest To Patons Rock: