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Although winter is our most consistent season, hurricane season is the most anticipated. At the first sign of 92-L our imaginations ignited and we let them.© 2014 Nik McCue
Ecstatically happy to be surfing, poor Joey Whibbs failed to notice the sign of pertinent information in the way.© 2014 Nik McCue
Sterling letting it all out on a willing wall.© 2014 Nik McCue
Steve Clark blows tail....© 2014 Nik McCue
Worried that people were looking for him after the Indie is Dead piece, Sterling went into hiding.© 2014 Nik McCue
Before emerging and pretending he was really John John ... He's not.© 2014 Nik McCue
Joey ... check© 2014 Nik McCue
Steve stalling in hope of a free hair wash.© 2014 Nik McCue
Lip lock deep in Gulf for Sterls.© 2014 Nik McCue
Chancho blasting for the heavens.© 2014 Nik McCue
Quit stalling Sterling....© 2014 Nik McCue
Invest 92-L over the Yucatan, this was the point that land interaction proved decisive in the storm not ever strengthening into a named system (what would be been Fernand). Instead it ended up as just another number.
Oh Invest 92-L and your tricky ways. You gave us hope. You took it away. You kept us waiting. You made us endure the elements. But ultimately, you delivered. And in true fairy tale fashion you let us Gulf Coasters know what it’s like to feel like princes and princesses.
Although winter is our most consistent season, hurricane season is the most anticipated. At the first sign of 92-L our imaginations ignited and we let them. Dreams of rarely breaking secret spots coming alive kept us up a little longer at night. Studying the forecasts and living for every adjustment became the pastime. Planning the attack, charging camera batteries, and putting fins in boards finally ended with, “holler in the morn” ...send.
Oh Invest 92-L and your tricky ways. You gave us hope. You took it away. You kept us waiting. You made us endure the elements. But ultimately, you delivered.
Day one dawns and dozens of surfers crowd the local hotspots ready to make memories. Only it’s knee-high and raining, with hard onshore winds. Finally, just before sunset we make it past the surf check and into the water. As longtime Gulf Coast scavengers we know not to let a scrap pass by, so we went and surfed the scraps. The swell started to show and it got pretty fun. Great day for video from the water.
Day two and the swell finally shows, it’s hard to see through the torrential rain, but it looks fun and we might as well paddle out. The scavengers win again and find some fun lines between the squalls. Of course, surfing’s not as simple as it used to be. Now you have to find a nice perch for your camera guy, too. And if it’s raining… ooooh gosh… what a hassle. But you know you want to see yourself ripping so you deal with it. Well, as luck would have it, we found a wonderful little nest for our photog to cozy-up during the most adverse conditions and we went to surfing.
We were still in our backyard. No, not some mystical secret spot that hasn’t been surfed in years… our own comfy little backyard. I suspect it’s sessions like this that allow surfers to live on the Gulf.
Day two point five. After forcing surf sessions for a couple days the boys started to wear. Not their spirits, but their bodies and their equipment. A couple broken leashes, a busted fin box, and several bellies over-stuffed with honey buns and dill pickle chips. The magic session we had envisioned was seeming more like a hopeless dream. And then the wind went offshore. Sandbars came alive. The swell height peaked. We were still in our backyard. No, not some mystical secret spot that hasn’t been surfed in years… our own comfy little backyard. I suspect it’s sessions like this that allow surfers to live on the Gulf. The magic that happens when the elements come together is undeniable. The junk food bellies scream quieter and quieter, your buddy has a board you can borrow, and who needs a leash anyhow?!
All too often the hurricane story involves more lows than highs, but it don’t matter. The adventures we have with our homies and the handful of memorable waves we catch all add up to a powerful experience. It’s gonna be hard to top the last swell, but all we can think about is trying.
Words by Nik McCue
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith
Local Canarian, Lazi Ruedegger, finds some golden moments between the storms.
Nelscott Reef will today host the fifth stop of the Big Wave World Tour, kicking off with a women's superheat.
The European Association of Surfing Doctors announces its third annual conference, to be held at Mullaghmore on September 9.