Frances Provides Fun Surf for the North East

I’m checking 5th Street and I just about trip over my jaw.
I witness a surfer cleanly exit a stand-up pit, fade back into a bottomturn and connect a mid-face snap back into the barrel. Again, the surfer cleanly exits. It’s Ian
Walsh, here from Hawaii for the contests, and, on this particular morning, he’s very stoked he
arrived in New Jersey early.

Typical of hurricane season on the East Coast, the surf has gone from dead flat to overhead
in the matter of one night. Also typical of the East Coast, it’s been flat for nearly three
weeks. My surfing suffers. I battle the stiff offshores to get into a solid wave.
Sloppily, I pull up into the tube. Luckily, the barrels are perfect, and this one lets me out. The first barrel
on the first wave of the first hurricane swell-a feeling so pure, the Buddha would be
jealous.

I got on it a bit late, and missed the brunt of the sizeable sets. But as the
tide dropped out and the size went with it, so did the crowd. It quickly dropped to the chest-
to-head high range, but got more shallow and square, while maintaining its make-ability. I
got tubed for four hours straight, so I figured I made out all right.

Earlier in the week, as Frances approached Florida and stepped up to a Category 5, Cape Hatteras was looking
Promising–and tempting. As more of the new Frances pulse continued to
fill in to NJ, I decided to stay back as photographer Dave Breisacher made the call to make
the eight-hour, red-eye mission south to Hatteras. Checking the report, I was relieved I opted out of the
mission, as it was being called waist-to-head high and windblown at the Buxton Lighthouse.

Dave knows the East Coast well enough, and therefore headed to Frisco, near the Outer Banks. Frisco is located where the Outer
Banks curve toward the mainland, making a north wind offshore. Dave came back claiming
they got it good, and my first reaction was to call bullsh*t on him. But then I saw the
photos.

The surf quality has been anywhere from fun to Richter here in South
Jersey. Ramon Purcell, a photographer from the West Coast, is staying with me and is
tripping on how much surf and talent there is here. At the time of this writing, he is out shooting
his sixth session-and it’s only his sixth day here. I warn him that it’s not always like this.

September in the North East: Sometimes it can be better than most surf trips.—Matt Vecere