Photo Blogging The Outer Banks By Mez: T’is the Season, Part 1

October 8, 2021 • Photos, Swell Gallery

Presented by our Friends Of The Porpoise at Wave Riding Vehicles https://www.waveridingvehicles.com

Since arriving on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 18th, just in time for the start of the 2021 ESA Championships where I posted up as their event photographer, the waves have been consistent. Not exceptionally great or super spectacular – No Hurricane Teddy, Bill, Larry or even Tropical Storm Ana-type swell event – but pretty darn consistent. Other words and phrases I’ve heard uttered along the shores of Dare County the past three weeks include: “inconsistent”, “bombing”, “fun”, “you just gotta find the corners”, “drifty”, “too much highway surfing”, “disappointing”,”rippable” and “super rippable.” Truth be told, all descriptions were accurate.

I would, however, like to add one more: “shootable”, which is all I ever really hope for. And almost every day I’ve been here, I’ve shot plenty — from action to lineups to lifestyles to scenics to portraits to aerial photography via drone. And, as I write this, there is more to come as a new coastal disturbance off Florida is spinning toward the Banks’ many in-form sandbars. Here is the first part of a photo blog mash-up of my past three weeks cruising and filming one of the most awesome, consistent stretch of barrier islands anywhere in the world. Look for Part Two early next week. – Mez –

One of many random, unmolested Dare County sandbars doing its autumnal thing.

Born-and-bred Quentin Turko is a direct descendent of the Noah Snyder-Jesse Hines-Matt Beacham school of surfing: lots of rail game, hard smacks off the top, big airs, monster tail-blows and an intimate knowledge of how to ride deep, hard-breaking barrels. One of the OBNC’s best all-around surfers in any given session, Quentin cracks one off the top at P-Land.

And he’s just a cool kid to boot…

Jeff Myers at P-Land. You may have seen this recently on Surfline’s Sam Swell Story (link here https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/sam-storm-lasted-forever-sam-swell-not/133332 ), but we think it’s worth another peep.

My navigator and communications co-pilot, Jeff Myers, poses for a quick iPhone portrait at Avon Pier during our Hurricane Sam highway-surfing hunt.

Assignment #1 for me was working the 2021 ESA Championships as event photog, then seeing what the ocean had to offer the next two weeks. So far, so good, with more waves on the way for Phil Jackson and Seth Broudy’s O’Neill Grom Championships down in Buxton this weekend. Pictured here, South Florida’s Vance Weyendt during the Boys U14 final, where he surfed solid en-route to a 2nd-place finish in stormed-out conditions.

Jennette’s Pier during the ESA Championships. Bowling much?

Grom on a bomb: Florida’s Sebastian Peters took 3rd in the Boys U12 division at the ESA Championships.

Fire in the morning sky at the Outer Banks Fishing Pier.

Glassy, green, silt-tinted Pea Island perfection.

Autumn colors abound in early October. Is there a better time than now to pack up your vehicle and hit Highway 12 to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and surf along Cape Hatteras National Seashore? That would be a rhetorical ask, folks. We all know the answer to that one.

Jeff Myers enjoying the last vestiges of non-neoprene-clad surfing on a beautiful, Indian Summer day during the Sam swell. Surfers will be breaking out the 3/2 fulls anytime now.

Ain’t no visit to the OBNC complete without a stop at Duck Donuts for a mixed box. Eddie Guilbeau smiling for a half-dozen very tasty reasons.

Quentin Turko slashing at P-Land.

My old friend and traveling partner, and fellow East Coast Surfing Hall Of Famer, Jesse Fernandez, sculpting a 9’6″ custom pintail at WRV’s board factory in Currituck, NC.

Jesse Fernandez with the rough shape outside Wave Riding Vehicles’ iconic, quonset-hut factory. Would you like this one in your quiver? Would you have the ‘nards to use it for what it’s intended for?

Pea Island peeling double time.

Former ESM Editor-turned-Surfline scribe, Matt Pruett, bailing on Spot X after an early-morning strike sesh. When most people are scrambling trying to find the spot, MP is heading home (or to another isolated sandbar) as you’re scurrying down the same trail he just left to paddle out. The man pretty much invented surfing’s version of the “Irish Exit.”

Pruett between deadlines at P-Land, just a hop, skip and a bash from his house.

Okay, Matty, go feed Tut and write some captions… I’ll go get the Duck Donuts.

Quentin Turko, totally flaring.

No telling how many nooks and crannies between Corolla and Hatteras Village host unridden gems like this.

Brittany Duffy — devoted wife, mother of five, and universally adored Kitty Hawk local — gets some waves for herself before returning to her domestic duties. If you think she’s got a load to carry, consider her husband Adam. Dude’s got FIVE kids to schlep around, for Pete’s sake.

Like many long-time OBNC locals, Jeff Myers, is a total barrel-magnet. Familiarity breeds mucho tube time, and Myers is definitely familiar with the green room.

I don’t know, Myers, those pants are looking kinda tight.

Shorebreak double-up at Spot X.

Former ESM Editor and soon-to-be-inducted Class of 2022 East Coast Surfing Hall Of Famer, Matt Walker, all shakas and smiles after a fun, late-September sesh before running home to deadline for his decade-old Outer Banks Milepost magazine — one of the smartest, funniest, entertaining local rags you will find anywhere.

Walker tattoos the lip in Avon.

The iconic, striped sentinel — the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse — as viewed from First Jetty.

Lime-green and clean on Pea Island. Dream day all the way.

Don’t say it, spray it. Hope this grom had his eyes closed as Donnie Jones puts it on rail for the firehose treatment.

East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame group portrait: Jesse Fernandez (Class of 2020), Matt Walker (the grom in waiting for the Class of 2022 induction ceremony at this January’s Surf Expo) and myself (Class of 2006), chilling at the Walker residence in KDH. Photo: Laurin Walker. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this photo blog sometime early next week… waves depending.