Hurricane Joaquin In Brevard County

November 9, 2015 • Swell Gallery

Brevard County, FL, is home to more world surfing titles (12) than anywhere in the USA. It has the first and possibly only surf shop open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is also home to a 1.5x life-size statue of Kelly Slater. There are 72 miles of beaches from north to south and hundreds of sandbars that can light up when the waves, winds, and tides all come together. Hurricane Joaquin will go down in surfing history as delivering some of the best waves to ever grace the Space Coast with a more than two-week run of surf. This gave me a chance to explore all of Brevard’s waves, from Sebastian Inlet to the south all the way north to Playalinda Beach in Titusville. In the mix, I think most of the breaks were as good as they get, with the conditions to match: water temperatures at 82º, air temps in the 90s, winds predominately offshore, and very little rain, broken up by a few overcast days that gave everyone a little break from Florida’s hot sun.

The wind and tide dictated where to surf and when to surf, but for most of the swell in Brevard the winds were offshore — and you can’t beat that. On a day that winds were northwest, I headed to the famed Canaveral Pier and was blown away by the perfection that was on hand due to the slight curve of the Cape that made for straight offshores with perfect waves. The crowds at most breaks… Well, that’s another story, as every surfer who lived within 100 miles of the Space Coast was on it and trying to get their share of waves. The consistency definitely was there, and set after set poured through with only a few minutes wait time. It will be argued for years if Joaquin was the best swell producer since the 1995 run of surf, but as far as the shape and size of the surf, it was definitely one to go down in the record books. The following photos are from different breaks on some of the best days they’ve seen in years covering all 72 miles of Brevard County with some new names and some old names showcased on Atlantic Ocean power that will be remembered for a long, long time.

  • Christian Daniels looking the beast in the face at First Peak, Sebastian Inlet. Photo: Dugan
  • 72 miles of coastline, hundreds of beachbreak options, and one slice of Space Coast perfection from the more than two-week run of waves before, during, and after Hurricane Joaquin. This is my take on what Brevard County looked like... Photo: Dugan
  • Sebastian Inlet is still not quite back to all its glory, but there were a few moments that gave surfers like Christian Daniels a few open faces to get some work done. Photo: Dugan
  • North Florida had a bit of a size and wind problem for much of the swell, so surfers like Marty Liles from Jacksonville decided to take the three-hour drive south for a few clean ones. Photo: Dugan
  • Dave Speir, speed run, Floridana Beach. Photo: Dugan
  • Let's see — rent a pole or go surfing ? With three guys out at Canaveral Pier and the waves looking this fun, I think the decision is fairly clear... if you're a surfer. Photo: Dugan
  • William Hedleston has been on fire lately, winning and placeing in every contest he's entered. Canaveral Pier is kind of his homebreak and training grounds, and Joaquin gave him plenty to work with to hone his skills. Here he is taking the top off one on the north side. Photo: Dugan
  • Down south for a little R&R with Todd Holland. Photo: Dugan
  • On the way back home, I stopped to check Second Light in South Cocoa Beach — and just like everywhere else this day, it was firing. An unknown surfer airs one out. Photo: Dugan
  • Randy Nolan threads a beautiful barrel. Photo: Dugan
  • A bit of a crowd... But do these waves look fun enough to go out and mix it up? Photo: Dugan
  • George Drazich leans into a dreamy one. Photo: Dugan
  • On a day that winds were northwest, I headed to Cape Canaveral and was blown away by the perfection that was on hand due to the slight curve that made for straight offshores with perfect waves. Photo: Dugan
  • Playalinda looking really fun. The waves this day were good-sized and super clean with low crowds and a few tubes to be had if you found yourself in the right spot. Photo: Dugan
  • Shea Lopez and his friends between sessions. They all walked up the beach to their own peak and went loony. When you show up with 7 guys, you better surf alone and away from the pack... Instant crowd control. Photo: Dugan
  • Shea Lopez, clean and crisp at Playalinda. Photo: Dugan
  • Matthew Glenn snaps back as Shea Lopez looks on. Photo: Dugan
  • How fun did your homebreak look? A little inside tube time for Jon Cangianella at RC's. Photo: Dugan
  • A perfect left with Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral in the background. Photo: Dugan
  • The one that got away... Photo: Dugan
  • Sets still pouring through at Canaveral Pier as the sun sets. This was literally the last shot on a 16GB digital card. I filled it up after shooting for five hours this day, but I got so many good photos I was happy just to watch the sun go down and the last few waves get ridden before it was too dark out to see. Photo: Dugan
  • It's been years since Todd Holland was on the World Tour grind, but you would never know it by how hard he still surfs on every go out. Photo: Dugan
  • Blake Speir surfs like a kid on a mission and Hurricane Joaquin gave him a chance to hone his skills and have a bit of fun just across the street from his home in Floridana Beach surfing with dad David and just four or five others on most days. Keep an eye on this kid as he gets bigger and better. Photo: Dugan
  • Jon Cangianella again, backside blast. Photo: Dugan
  • Sebastian Inlet did have a few moments of glory during Joaquin. Photo: Dugan
  • All eyes on Randy Nolan, Canaveral Pier. Photo: Dugan
  • Scott Bouchard lives down the street from RC's and would ride his bike there each day. Here he leans in to a clean one with some nice size for a Florida swell. Photo: Dugan
  • If you ever surf RC's when it's good, there is no way you will not see George Drazich out surfing center peak lefts. He is on it every single swell, rain or shine. Photo: Dugan
  • On a gloomy overcast day, two buds head out at Ocean Ave. in Melbourne Beach. On any other day, the lineup would have been maxed out. But oddly enough, there was not one surfer out. That's what happens when you have two weeks of nonstop surf. Photo: Dugan
  • The locals were ecstatic with the run of surf that hit the Cocoa Beach area during the first weeks of October. Peter Black snaps one at Canaveral Pier while Kevin “Moon” Mullens watches from out the back. Photo: Dugan
  • South Florida surfers headed north as there was a bit of Bahamas blockage for the swell down south. Richard Ghiotto was glad he made the drive and took full advantage of some RC's lefts. Photo: Dugan
  • Eric Peters, steep and deep in Satellite Beach. Photo: Dugan
  • Cocoa Beach's Haley Dawson took the 10-minute drive south — and it paid off big time. Finding one to herself amid the crowds. Photo: Dugan

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