Surf Session: South Padre, Sept. 17-18th, 2010

Wave police check the action in the surf zone.

We are nearing the end of the season for tropical storms, and after watching the East Coast score back to back swell, I started to think of the gulf as a barren womb.  All of us were denied at the beginning of the season, but the Atlantic seems to have turned into a whore that births hurricanes twice a week.  All of them hooking a right turn and staying offshore and not making landfall.  The perfect storm for one gets hurt and everyone scores swell.

But the tropics have been sleepy for the small sandspit in south Texas.  Well, until last week that is…

After Tropical Storm Hermine came in, things started to change.  Mostly the rain, as the surf was short lived and returned to flatness before the skies cleared.  Then Hurricane Karl squeezed into the lower gulf and managed to send a two foot groundswell, but even better it threw off a chunk of energy that started to spin right offshore from South Padre Island.  It brought a shitload more rain, to an already soaked area but it also brought a quickly building east swell that hit the head-high mark.


I saw a fresh face in the lineup, and the guy was blowing up over the dumpy sandbar surf.  When I found out he is from the East Coast, I laughed at the irony.  For more than two weeks I’ve been calling the Atlantic all kinds of names.  She spits out spinners like they are afternoon showers.  The 2nd coasters have scored enough already!  Then when an East Coaster comes to town on a fishing trip, we score killer swell!


Chris Yergans, of Vero Beach Florida said he was surprised and was not expecting the surf, on his first trip to South Padre Island.  He’s a fishing guide in Florida and has lots of clients from this area.  He decided to come here on a fishing vacation and check it out.  Next thing he knew he was boosting over punchy sections in chest to head-high surf.

I barked about how much of a whore the Atlantic has been, and his comment was, “yeah, but it’s been windy.”  Oh, uh-huh…bummer that so much surf can come with some wind.  argh…

Speaking of wind, it’s been miracle mornings around here lately.  Offshore winds until lunch time, then blasting East winds for the afternoon.  The fetch is growing and now the gulf is fat with East groundswell.  After three mornings of offshores, and rain every four hours or so, I’m starting to wonder if I should get picky about when I surf.