January 9, 2008

2007 wasn’t a great year for surfers, but it had its moments
With Slideshow


2007 was an uneventful year of surf. It leaves one who loves Hatteras and loves surfing without much positive to say. Yet, in thinking back, I can find some high points, in an otherwise dreadful year of Hatteras surf, and from there I'll let the photos do the talking.
The day was May 19. May is usually a good month for surf. The weather, for the most part, starts to turn. The water begins to warm up. Birds are singing, and flowers are blooming. You get the point. Many surfers who hang up their gear during the winter emerge on the beach, ready for their spring training session. You have to understand that after four months of not surfing, one tends to get out of shape. Therefore, spring is a time when warm water surfers come out of hibernation and get back into the game.
In the beginning of May, the island experienced a northeaster, and surfers started to get pumped, thinking that swells were on the way. The whole East Coast experienced good surf – well, almost everywhere. Hatteras was plagued by onshore winds for three weeks straight. These winds are not favorable to creating good surf. Suddenly, on May 19, out of nowhere it seemed, we got one day with solid surf and offshore winds. It was
perhaps, the heaviest day of the year. Rarely does the surf stay good all day, but this day it did. I had to work a double that day.

I was depressed to say the least. This is the day that surfers wait for all year. This is the day that everyone calls in sick and heads out to the beach. This is the day that when you are kept inside, all that you can do is think about being in the water. Nothing else. Surf takes over your thoughts. I finally had a small window of opportunity to surf in the middle of the day.  I experienced the worst hold down I've had in a very long time. After an hour of surfing, I reluctantly got out of the water and headed back to work. 
One word can describe the surf in the summer of 2007 -- flat. There were some rideable days, but overall most of us had better luck spear fishing than surfing.
The flat trend continued through September when Easterns were held at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach. The Eastern Surfing Association experienced some of the worst surf ever for the week-long contest. This was a let down to everyone, because in years past this week has brought some of the best surf of the year.
October is my favorite month on Hatteras. The water is still warm, and the surf tends to be good. Not so this year. The water was extremely warm, and the weather was great.  But the waves didn't come.
Then, in November and December, someone threw the switch on. These two months made up for the lack of surf during the rest of the year. Hurricane Noel brought HUGE swells to the island. (See previous article on Hurricane Noel on the Places to Go and Things to Do page.) Many surfers will talk about the surf that weekend for years to come. After that, there were a bunch of back-to-back swells.  We seemed to get holiday swells this year as well. The day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve were really good, a much welcomed Christmas present from Mother Nature.     

Overall the 2007 surf season won't go down in the record books, but there were some days that will be logged away in our memory banks for a while.


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