For North Carolina surfers, the end of summer signals the start of the season

Posted on 08/29/14 No Comments


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This week saw the coast of Southern California become one of the world’s hottest surfing destinations.

Yes, the Golden State holds the nation’s most consistent year-round breaks, from Blacks in San Diego to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach and Trestles and Rincon in between. But summer there is the slow season, with soft shorebreak and swim zones.

However, Hurricane Maria brought summer swell to the Wedge in Newport and Malibu’s Surfrider Beach that’s been classified by regional surfers as some of the biggest in twenty years. Laird Hamilton even flew from Hawaii to take it in, scoring a wave at the Malibu Pier that is still dropping jaws.

Hurricane swells are more often the domain of east coast breaks. Even though this year has been slow in that department for area surfers, North Carolina remains home to some of the right coasts’s most popular places to drop-in. The Tar Heel state hosts a number of contests and has raised several professional surfers.

Come winter, the Outer Banks beckons wave riders from all over who come to get “shacked” by heavy, cold-water barrels. Down east, in places like Wrightsville Beach, the sandy shoreline offers a more mellow place to glide on longboards or mid-lengths. Under the right conditions, the break just outside Wilmington can offer fantastic faces and if outside the tourist-season window, even uncrowded line-ups.

The beach culture of North Carolina is well-known, and the state’s coastline is seemingly drawing more people every year. But for surfers in the southeast, the best time of the year is quickly approaching.

Today, a lot of surfers are sitting along the state’s beachside BBQ counters lamenting the fact they couldn’t get out to California this week. But in between bites of that great pulled pork and slaw sandwich, they know their time is coming. Labor Day is just about here, and that means school is in and the rental houses quiet down.

That is when everything becomes local again. Especially the waves.

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