How’s it go? Silver lining to every dark cloud? What about dark clouds for five or six days? And rain dumping for 18 out of every 24 hours? And flash floods at least once a day, because the ground is already soaked from a tropical storm last week. Is there a silver lining, if you can’t see the sun for a week?
Well, most people would have been satisfied to just be able to walk outside without a storm and needing an umbrella. Everyone enjoyed the lower temperatures, since the sun had a break from cooking dirt for a few days. But a small group at the coast was seeing the brightest part of the silver lining. The surfers were stoked! Continue reading Surfing: Is The Glass Half Empty Or All Day?→
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 surfers..no one gets hurt and everyone scores swell.
After an eight-day week of SE swell, the winds finally turned to clean up the mess on Sunday morning. A cool front worked it’s way down to the South Padre area in the morning and early risers scored the best conditions under a light NW breeze. The size was on it’s way down fast, but those last two hours of glassy conditions are pretty much what many surfers around here wait for.
The outside sand bar was still working in the morning, where all the action had been in the previous days, but as the size went down on Sunday it became less consistent and headed for a shutdown. There was a handful of surfers out there, but most of the line up was nabbing waist-chest high thumpers on the inside. Jalufka scored a killer little barrel around mid-morning. Check out the entire sequence of Justin’s cover up as an animated .gif file. Click Here.
Words and Photos by Chuck Turkington
Well, it’s been awhile since I surfed, so that’s pretty much what I did, instead of taking photos. I took Brent’s advice and paddled out along the rocks, and rode the rip current to the outside. Without a board, that fast track out to sea would be deadly. But for a 5-7 foot swell breaking on the outside, the rip at the jetties is the quickest way to the line up.
I don’t think I caught the swell at it’s peak, and it was dropping fast, but I saw some fun waves and managed to grab a couple.I did manage to take a few photos in the early evening. Not many people were still surfing, but I saw Carlos and Tim catch a couple. They’ve got good style, so I was stoked to see them through the lens.
Although with the current bum-tripping economy and the fact that South Padre Island was slammed with a very destructive hurricane last fall, the overall turnout was bound to be less than the golden years of this college tradition. However, plenty of students managed to migrate down for the seasonal gathering. For three weeks different schools alternated their occupation of Padre Island, each spending a week at a time.
With a few daily rips and the constant consumption of booze, the students slosh their way to the beach everyday and stake a camp in front of the former Radisson and nearby hotels, also known as condo row. Some stake their flags in the sand, some carve a sculpture, and some just wind up face down. But all make this area their playground and the cops pretty much let it happen, as long as they don’t get violent.
The cops can make or break this demographic ritual. Too much and the students will bail and the bad rep will result in an economic loss for the area the following year. But not enough cops and the weekends can go ape shit and nearly result in riots. That’s a balance the locals and their public servants need to figure out. 😉
In spite of the past ups and downs of boom years and bust, the island is always guaranteed enough of a turnout that local sales of Keystone Light are at the yearly high.