Friday, April 20th was a great day to be a Central Florida surfer. The ESM offices were closed after our staff slayed another back-breaking print deadline — and for once the stars aligned and gave us four feet of long-period ENE swell and light offshore winds. But while we were enjoying the near perfect sorta-holiday, and all of Central Florida was getting wet at fun, wave-blessed spots from Cape Canaveral to Melbourne Beach, something special was happening at Sebastian Inlet. Something that hadn’t really happened in quite some time: First Peak was spotted again.
Longtime adherents Tom Dugan and Dick “Mez” Meseroll, who’ve both been maintaining on-again, off-again love affairs with the spot for the last 40 years, were shooting from the water. Chris Wilson was posted up on the beach. And a who’s who of First Peak devotees — Matt Kechele, CJ Hobgood, Travis Beckmann, Chris Tucker, Simon Springer, Eddie Guilbeau, Jeff Hambrecht, and Tanner Strohmenger, among others — were on hand to witness the magic.
We’ll let Mez take it from here:
“One of the main reasons I moved down here in the ‘80s was to take advantage of First Peak and all that it encompassed: The huge, freaky, one-sided wedges; the big, thick barrels on better swells; the beautiful water color… To suddenly have that disappear when the jetty was rebuilt a few years ago wrenched the heart and soul out of Sebastian Inlet. From the time they picked up all the rocks and broke up all that worm rock to make repairs, that’s when First Peak started going downhill.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but since January 2012, there have been three swells during which old-school First Peak seems to be trying to make a comeback. What we’re seeing most importantly is the refraction that caroms off the jetty and heads due north as the wave peak moves in from east, producing that unique, one-sided, barreling, trademark Sebastian Inlet peak. And this swell, that sound was also there — I call it the slap and tickle. It’s a very distinct ‘slap slap slap’ echo that you just don’t hear anywhere else, especially when you get down low and close to the jetty.
So is first Peak coming back for good? I’m just happy to have it back in any capacity, even just for three swells. You can see the worm rock growing again — and it wasn’t there four years ago. We could be deluding ourselves, but maybe in 10 years First Peak will truly be back. If it is, Dugan and I are going to be there photographing it, even if we’re in wheelchairs being assisted to the beach.”