Photos By Tom Dugan and Mez, captions by Mez

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Hurricane Nicole could have been oh so much worse for our neck of the woods here in Central Florida as the tropical system dealt us a glancing – but fierce – blow with the “dirty side” of her buzzsaw-like vortex. Coming ashore south of us on the Treasure Coast, Nicole sent the hurricanes northeast quadrant right over Brevard County and thank our lucky stars it was barely a category 1. It was yet another of many, many bullets dodged for our area over the past two decades but our time will surely come for the Big One.

Incoming! Nicole bears down on the Treasure Coast and Central Florida. Courtesy NOAA

And yeah, suppose we could have bitched about the storms side swiping track and the less than ideal south / southwest winds it brought us while the waves were maxing out creating raw, mean looking conditions for 48 hours but why do that when we escaped the worst of it? Barely.

And we did get surf with very little destruction and thats the bottom line here.

With his grom and 2022 ESA Champion, Sebastian Peters out in California making the rounds of Orange Countys sprawling surf industry and competing, popÕs Eric broke out the step up and found some bombs at Spanish House as Nicoles swell was attempting to clean up. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Our thoughts are with are good neighbors north of The Cape from Volusia County all the way north to Jax Beach who copped the true beating yet again and we wish them a speedy clean-up and recovery. – Mez –

South Brevard County had it’s moments in an otherwise sea of mostly raw energy close-outs. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Tommy O’Briens tippy toe drop at Spanish House. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

The Spanish House trail – with its usually lush foliage denuded from Nicoles occasional 70 mph + gusts – at days end. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

The Champ’s backside torque on the sandbars where it all began decades ago in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Photo here and GIF sequence below by Dugan @tomduganphotos

Kelly Slater Slays CB By Dugan from on Vimeo.

Kelly Slater, hiding from the sun and the sometimes overwhelming adoration of his home states billion admirer’s by grabbing a solo sesh with Tom Dugan – the very same guy who photographed his very first published surf photo nearly 5 decades ago – not too very far from his Cocoa Beach digs. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Spanny spitter with somebody’s board about to get destroyed by the lip. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

“Shreddy” Teddy Whitteman grabbing rail hauling ass at Spanish House. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Kelp, schmelp. Trying surfing in this shit that also includes half the stairways and boardwalks from local Brevard beaches floating around in the line-up resembling an underwater lumber yard. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Missing beach access stairs at south RC’s in Satellite Beach probably down around Melbourne beach by now. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Grom in an unenviable position. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Teddy Whiiteman arms wide open and hoping for a warm embrace from a looming Spanish House barrel. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Phil Watters kisses the missus goodbye as he rotates out for another session down along Brevards South Beaches. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Phil Watters, cool, calm, collected ferreted out a couple of gems like this glassy, on dark beauty at Spanish House. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Even at age 50, 11 x world champ, RKS still has plenty of pop in his air game. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Spanish House from on high. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Speaking of world champions, almost nobody is more capable in taking on untamed Spanish House in all her closed out glory than World Champ CJ Hobgood who found a few corners and blew everybodys minds with a couple of Houdini-esqe escapes. Ceej going left. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Ceej going right about to get pitted of his nut. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

Tommy O’Brien, Sunshine Superman turn. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

The wheel keeps turning as top surf photog Brandon “Laserwolf” Campbell’s daughter, Bali Shay, is quickly developing a keen eye under her dad’s expert tutalege ( including swimming out to shoot water  ) and she is already coming up with some great shots at he ripe age of 13. Bali Shay takes aim at Spanish House while Laser dispenses pointers and re-fuels for another surf. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

It’s an oft used phrase but, in this case, it definitely rings as true as can be – No Guts, No Glory. Teddy Whitteman went for the gusto but was denied at Spanish house where 90 % plus of Nicoles waves were simply un-makeable. Big kudos to the Kamakazi Kid for even thinking about it. Photo here and GIF sequence below by Mez @mezapixels

Teddy Whitteman Bomb Drop By from on Vimeo.

Equipment check after Teddy’s super gnarly wipe-out revealed – surprise surprise ! – a creased board effectively ending “Shreddy’s” long day of fearlessly charging Spanish House. Photo : Mez @mezapixels

Nicole certainly was no Larry or Earl but she did provide some moments to admire. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Eric Peters setting his line and preparing to pull up into a Nicole cavern. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

RC’s regular, Kelly Fergus favorite Brevard wave was total shithouse during most of Nicole so he took his trademark on rail tactics on the road to the southern most sandbars in the Sebastian Inlet area where he was captured burying some of his classic, carving turns. Photo: Dugan @tomduganphotos

The dunes took a real beating from Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet but most held fast and did their job protecting beachside roads and structures thanks to copious re-nourishment and the dense planting of dune grass and sea oats over the years. Photo: Tom Dugan @tomduganphotos

Unidentified pig-dogging deep in Melbourne Beach. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

By day two of Nicoles swell the winds finally came about to west / southwest and, while losing some size, became much more ridable along the many sandbars of Melbourne Beach. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

( L to R ) Shea Edwards, The Stewart brothers & Beckham McCart look surfed out but not nearly anywheres near finished with hurricane Nicole’s waves Photo : Dugan @tomduganphotos

Unidentified get’s one of the barrels of the afternoon in Melbourne Beach. Sequence: Mez @mezapixels

Kyle Garson has moved back from Costa Rica to his old stomping grounds of Brevard County while his kids attend school in the area. Kyle putting decades of riding Playa Hermosa to good use at Spanish House, the break he first honed his barrel riding chops as a grom. Photo: Mez @mezapixels