First Big Swell of Season (Dorian – 4, 3, 2, 1)

The three boards I rode during the Dorian swell.

Four Sessions, Three Boards, Two Days, One Hurricane

That was fast! After sitting over the Bahamas for days, wreaking destruction, and nearly threatening Alabama (so I saw in some reports but not others), Dorian sped up the coast. We had about 48 hours of decent swell and conditions that – fortunately – coincided with the weekend.

I took the opportunity to work several of my wave tools:

  • 9’5″ Hilbers-shaped “The Golden Girl” based on the famous Yater ’59 pig named “The Gray Lady” (top in photo);
  • 8’0″ Calvani-shaped Bing “The Lotus” based on an early ’70s transition-era template (middle in photo);
  • 9’6″ Harold Iggy-shaped O.G. Weber “Feather” that isn’t based on any vintage thingie because it is a ’67 longboard (bottom in photo).

Starting on Saturday morning with “The Golden Girl,” I paddled into chest-to-head high, clean surf at a local break that had yet to be inundated with visitors from neighboring states. After a really fun session of long, peeling lefts – and much shorter rights – I headed back home for the work of the day. I might have ridden the “Lotus,” but I didn’t.

Later Saturday afternoon, as the swell built, I had planned to surf Gooch’s on the “Lotus.” When I went to check out the conditions, though, I found a break with well over 80 people in the water. I headed back to a semi-secret spot to ply the break without the crowds. Alas, there were dozens of out-of-staters at my little local spot as well. I picked a second-tier peak between the masses of surfers and had loads of fun on the Lotus for a couple hours. The size was up quite a bit, with head-high plus conditions and little wind.

Then, on Sunday morning, I pulled old “Black Sheep” out of the den rafters, hoping to catch waist-high sets at another secret spot. But Dorian had already blown by and died down. Conditions were more in the knee-to-thigh range. But the Weber Feather was still loads of fun – and heavy.

I went back out late Sunday afternoon to catch just a bit more of the leftover swell. Alas, the winds had shifted and I found myself surfing onshore-to-sideshore chop that really confused the tiny swell still coming in from Dorian. It basically sucked.