Category Archives: Surf

OBX Labor Day Weekend

obx_labor_day_2014_22We were ready for a long weekend on the Outer Banks, but first, Merri Beth and I had few errands to run in Raleigh. Sunsets and long walks on the beach were on hold for a few short hours.

We’d missed back to school shopping earlier in the month, which for us, includes a new pair of running shoes.We went to Fleet Feet on Wade Avenue to get fitted and score some new running kicks. After that, a quick lunch at Whole Foods (to-go) and we were off to get the kids from school. Continue reading

Cristobal Lights Up the NC Surf Scene

cristobal_bipie_23All my research was complete and the call was made for the morning: Emerald Isle was the spot, fingers crossed. Hurricane Cristobal was sitting off the coast, pumping in swell. I used a combination of MagicSeaWeed and SwellInfo to help me pinpoint a surf location—be sure to check out my post Surfing the open data wave that highlights how open data is used by surf forecasting tools. As a surfer stuck inland, if I’m getting in the car to drive two plus hours, I want to maximize my time. Continue reading

Winter Surf on the Outer Banks

Kill Devil Hills surf forecast via

Kill Devil Hills surf forecast via

On the evening of Friday, March 7, 2014, I started preparing for a winter surf session on the Outer Banks. I gathered my wetsuit and various wetsuit parts, including booties, gloves, hood, and other layers. I packed all my gear in my surf tote and got my surfboard ready. I’d been watching the surf forecast all week and it looked like Saturday afternoon would be firing. Continue reading

OBX Sandbars and Board Shorts Day Two: Rainy Wright Brothers

obx_foj13_d2_01On Sunday, June 30 we continued to dodge the spotty, crazy weather here in North Carolina. I don’t remember ever having this much rain to start off the summer. We tried to get to the beach early today, before the rain came through. Lucky for me, I scored a few waves during low tide. Continue reading

September Surf Sessions on the Outer Banks

A week of surf on the Outer Banks will do wonders for your soul. I headed out to Kill Devil Hills, NC on Tuesday, September 4, leaving Raleigh, NC after dinner and arriving at the beach just before midnight. The swell forecast from Hurricane Leslie was looking very promising. And the wind (direction) looked like it was going to cooperate over the next few days.

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Tropical Storm Isaac Delivers Swell to Surf City

It’s the time of year when I keep one eye on the tropics for potential surf-generating storms. I’ll glance at the Atlantic Ocean swell models a few times a week and see if it’s time wax up the surfboard for a coastal get-away. This week was no different, except there are two reasons to further investigate: Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Depression Joyce.

Wave height forecast from TS Isaac via

Towards the end of last week, I was seeing some favorable conditions in the forecast. At first, it looked like Joyce was going to deliver this coming Tuesday, but more recent swell models have changed. However, on Friday, the forecast was looking good for the weekend. It looked like long-period swell would be arriving in North Carolina starting on Saturday. I was zeroing in on Topsail Island. Continue reading

Life in Board Shorts Day One – Outer Banks Style

heading to Norfolk

Heading to Norfolk

Our 10-day vacation on the Outer Banks started last night when the family flew to Norfolk after a week in Boston for the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. We landed just in time to experience some 5-o’clock traffic in Hampton Roads area of Virginia. We took our time and eventually made our way to Kill Devil Hills, NC for the evening.

Along the way, we stopped in Currituck at a local produce stand to get some fresh fruit and veggies. We walked out with blueberries, peaches, plums, squash, zucchini, and sweet corn. On the way towards KDH, we wanted to grab dinner at Weeping Radish, but they were closed when we passed. Bummer! Instead, we got some Mexican at La Fogata in Kitty Hawk. Continue reading

Costa Rica Day 6: Playa Negra Surf and Tamarindo Sunset Cruise

Jason drops in at Playa Negra

Jason drops in at Playa Negra

It’s Friday, December 23, and our last full day in Costa Rica. I was up at 5:30 am to go surfing. I grabbed my board and made the 10-minute walk to Playa Negra. There were a handful of guys in the water and the tide was low, exposing some of the reef in the shallow areas. The waves were chest to head high and a little mushy with clean faces.

I met a guy out in the water, Mike, who had just arrived in Playa Negra last night and was from Encinatis, CA. I caught some great waves today. Merri Beth and Zander walked down to the beach and watched us surf for a while. Continue reading

Costa Rica Day 4: Playa Avellana, Zander’s First Wave

Zander catches his first wave at Playa Avellana

Zander catches his first wave at Playa Avellana

Wednesday, December 21 was the halfway mark of our vacation in Costa Rica. And again, we had no plans, no worries—just pura vida. Today, we decided to spend all day on the beach.

I was up early again, surfing Playa Negra. I walked down to the beach and surfed for almost two hours.  It was solid chest high and got a little bigger as the tide started to come in. There were about 10-12 guys out and everyone one catching waves. I caught an awesome wave on the far North end of the break that connected all the way to the inside. I also found a barrel or two and plenty of cutbacks. After my surf session, I headed back to Cafe Playa Negra to catch up with the family. Continue reading

Costa Rica Day 2: Surf at Playa Negra, Trip to Tamarindo

Playa NegraTime to get to the beach and into the water. Surfs up! The best part about this vacation was we didn’t have any pre-set agenda. All Merri Beth wanted was a tan, all I wanted was some waves. We left the laptops at home, intentionally. I think Zander was just stoked to be with us and wanted to get in the water as well.

Day two, Monday, December 19, started off with breakfast at Cafe Playa Negra. We ordered some pancakes and a smoothie. Dave, one of the Cafe servers, was awesome. He was very friendly and gave us some good tips. After breakfast, we packed for the beach and began our journey to the beach at Playa Negra. Continue reading