Days of Perfection : Hurricane Nicole's Incredible Swell

Hatteras Island Native, Joey Crum waits for the swell at home, and slays when it's on! | Photo by Ashlon Durham
Hatteras Island local, Joey Crum waits for the swell at home, and slays when it’s on | Photo by Ashlon Durham

They call Cape Hatteras the wave magnet for a reason. Our position in the Atlantic gives us swell from virtually any direction and the perfect track of Hurricane Nicole lined up for excellent surf.  With strong, consistent swell pulsing we set up for a five-day wave hunting, barrel riding feast of perfect waves.

There is nothing quite like sharing a perfect A-frame with friends | Photo by Ashlon Durham
There’s nothing like sharing a perfect A-frame with friends | Photo by Ashlon Durham

Nicole’s offshore track delivered the swell, and coincided with a light west/southwest wind forecast. Hello groomed out waves, tubes, and sections perfect for blasting airs!

Brett Barley styling and Indie grab with ample hang time to spare | Photo by Ashlon Durham
Brett Barley styling a mute grab with ample hang time to spare | Photo by Ashlon Durham

Fall on the Outer Banks is every local’s favorite time of year. This is the time when most of the summer crowds have dissipated, there’s good surf, and it’s still warm. Despite most of the world squeezing into thick suits, here on Cape Hatteras surfers were in everything from trunks to a light full suit for this last swell.

Surfers in order of appearance:
Robbie McCormick
Cory Lopez
Balaram Stack
Brett Barley

With Hurricane Matthew ripping across the island just weeks ago, all our sand bars got a reset ready to hold the quality swell provided by Hurricane Nicole. If you were here, congratulations! If you missed it, check out these photos and dream on…

Cody Thompson Standing Tall | Photo by Ashlon Durham
Cody Thompson standing tall in a rare, against the grain right | Photo by Ashlon Durham

“We’ve had a lot of onshore wind at home in Florida and I saw a nice window of good conditions in OBX so we decided to make the trip and hang for a few days. I love coming up for swells and this one was super fun! We got fun waves all the way from Kitty Hawk to Rodanthe. We normally come up during the winter months but it was nice to get some good surf before it gets cold.” – Cody Thompson

Luke Lopez (Cory's son) is 5 years old and surf's waves most men fear. | Photo by Meatball Lifestyles
Luke Lopez (Cory’s son) is 5 years old and surf’s waves most men fear | Photo by @MeatballLifestyle

Watch the video of Luke surfing here

Imagine if you were 7 years old on your first trip to the Outer Banks.... Alana Lopez | Photo by @Meatballlifestyle
Imagine if you were 7 years old on your first trip to the Outer Banks…. Alana Lopez | Photo by @Meatballlifestyle

“I’ve been telling Brett that I wanted to bring the kids out for awhile now. I saw this swell and thought it was the perfect opportunity. Not only for the kids but I have not been on a surf trip since before I had surgery in September 2015. It felt great riding the tube again but I think I was more stoked on how the kids handled themselves in the big waves. I am a lucky dad to have kids that love the ocean.” – Cory Lopez

Laird Myers is a young pro from Virginia who makes the trek to Hatteras whenever swells hit. He definitely scored this time | Photo by Ashlon Durham
Laird Myers experiencing perfection| Photo by Ashlon Durham

“I was in Atlantic City, NJ last weekend and everyone up there was amping about the forecast for the Banks.  We made a quick stop on the way down Sunday evening to pick up my brother in VB and take a nap. We pulled into Rodanthe Monday morning and it was firing! Solid swell, offshores, trading big kegs with my friends. So fun! I got a lot of practice riding the barrel on my back hand. There is nothing better than fall swells on the Banks, can’t wait for the next one!”        -Laird Myers

Balaram Stack blasting over the lip | Photo by Ryan Osmond
Balaram Stack blasting over the lip | Photo by Ryan Osmond

“It was such a last minute decision to drive down but it was totally worth it. We drove through the night and scored great waves for two days. I have not visited the Outer Banks in a long time. Stoked the swell lined up and we scored perfect conditions.” – Balaram Stack

Trip Forman scored early Monday morning. | Photo by Colin Gowland
Trip Forman scored early Tuesday morning | Photo by Colin Gowland

“There were a lot of disclaimers that the swell was going to be too long a period for the Outer Banks. Just long walls of closeouts. A few bars actually worked even better than short period swells, plus we dug into our Winter 2016 vault and found an outside break with lefts reeling 250+ yards to the beach. ” -Trip Forman

Robbie McCormick is a young ripper from Florida. Keep and eye on this dude | Photo by Ashlon Durham

“Robbie McCormick is one of the best up and coming surfers on the east coast. This was his first trip to Cape Hatteras, it’s safe to say he scored”                          -Cory Lopez


70-80 degrees, three days of offshore wind, lefts and rights, tubes and airs…Thank you Nicole.

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