We drove three hours up the freeway to get to Sebastain Inlet for a
surf (usually more swell than here in Fort Lauderdale) and there was
this contest. I guess Kelly Slater paddled out the day before for a
free surf at the north end of the beach and I was hoping to see him
that day too. It was about 20 knots onshore. There is usually only
waves here in Florida when it's onshore but the shallow sandbars of
Sebastian still make for some fun, punchy waves.
The funny thing was, I kept seeing these
guys in the contest claiming these waves (putting both hands in the air
at the end of their ride) and I thought they were making fun of the
surf the contest was in. Turns out, they have four man heats and you
surf for twenty minutes but when you get a wave that you think will
score high enough to win, you have to claim it. So you can claim a
wave within the first few minutes and your done and get to go in but
the rest of the guys out there might not claim anything until closer
to the end. Whoever gets the highest score wins the heat, 240 dollars
in cash and gets what they call a "skin". Then the winner advances to
the next heat against 3 new guys. If he gets another skin, he keeps
going until somebody beats him. I thought that isn't fair to the guys
in the last heat because even if they win they only get one skin and
the person with the most skins at the end, wins the contest. Turns out
the contest is two days and they just reverse the heats the next day
so if you where last, then you are first and you have a chance at
collecting some skins.
Anyways I snapped a bunch of shots and then went out for surf on my
friends board after he was done. Surfing the "Space Coast" is a lot different than
anywhere else I've been and I now know why Floridian surfers are so
quick to there feet. Kind of like being out at cox on a large
windswell but onshore really hard too. You just get thrown into the
wave with the lip crumbling over your head and you have to be on your
feet and trimming down the line to get any face, draw out a bottom
turn and it's over. So if you like onshore crowded surf, Portuguese
man-o-war (they get blown in by the winds), sealice and sharks, then
Florida's right coast is the place for your next surf trip. I used to get bummed out
by the beach breaks around Tofino when it wasn't perfect and cold, but
now I just dream of them! Hope you guys are enjoying it.
I'll be working on the Yacht for a bit longer. The boat will be up the east coast to New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Cape Cod so if I see get any surf there this summer, I'll try and grab some shots. These shots are from Quiksilver's King of the Peak - Sebastian Inlet, Nov 5-6, 2006. I took a lot of sequences cause I didn't shoot for very long.
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