THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE: I used to live in Southern Cali, surfed every day. Then I joined the air force. My question to you is: is there any surf in Mississippi?


BLACKSHORTS RESPONDS: Alas, Mark, there aren’t many seas this captain can’t find someplace to carve, but the shores of Mississippi remains a bane to even the Gulf of Mexico’s most rabid seadogs. Seems America’s mightiest river rushes too much sediment out in the Gulf, forming the infamous delta that saps all swells of strength before they can reach the coast. But you can always storm the beaches of nearby Alabama, home to a variety of beachbreaks plus a peeling lefthander called Alabama Point. Just be prepared to battle with every other poaching pirate lusting after this jetty, a rare prize worthy of the rare Gulf swell. But for those of us with saltwater in the veins, there be another option. A series of small barrier islands sits off of Mississippi, and legends speak of bountiful surf waiting for the brave adventurer. “It’s a 12-mile boat ride and I’ve never done it,” says ESA Alabama director Chuck Barnes. “But some guys who used to show up here on big swells claimed there were several passes that fired. They were windsurfers and surfers of some experience, but I haven’t seen ’em around here in a long while.” Who knows? Could be these mateys marooned themselves for good, picking off the prime gems of the Mississippi’s most secret treasure. But there be only one way to find out for sure . . .

For Blackshorts and the boldest news from all seven seas, check the Pulse section of December’s SURFING magazine, now on newsstands.