Presented by our Friends Of The Porpoise at WRV

It had been a long time since I got to travel anywhere except mostly from one room in my prison-like home to the other. But, as the Pandemic began to loosen it’s grip, I had the golden opportunity early last month to cover both the ESA’s Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regionals on the Outer Banks and Ocean City, MD basing myself on the OBNC at the houses of ESM alumni Matt Walker ( former ESM editor ) and Laurin Walker ( former ad sales ) and Surflines Matt Pruett ( former ESM editor ) and his girl Laurin. I had close to 4 weeks to enjoy springtime in North Carolina, do a little camping down in Frisco at the Billy Mitchell campground, wander around off road via four wheeling and caught the first swell of hurricane season in the form of tropical TS Ana. Other than not having my wife Tonya and our pup Frank with me, it hardly get’s better than this, especially being on lockdown for so long. Here is Part 1 of my 2 part photo blog with the second installment publishing Monday. Please follow us Facebook and on Instagram @ easternsurfmag and myself at @mezapixels. – Mez –

Tropical storm Ana, the first named storm of the 2021 hurricane season, was a bit early in the season but Cam Richards, in a Pipeline-esque attack line, was not late to the game in Dare County pulling an all nighter driving up from South Carolina with his crew that included Josh Tudor.

When packing to go on a 3-4 week surf adventure decisions have to be made about what to carry and what to leave behind. Frank didn’t make this trip unfortunately and he let me know it. Hopefully next time, Bubby.

Tropical storm Ana’s first solid bands of energy hitting at P-Land up in town just in time for the “Golden Light” hours of late afternoon, a photogs dream.

Photo here: Earlier that morning, as Ana’s swell was beginning to arrive, P-Land was showing it’s fun, super rippable side with Jeff Myers taking full advantage and loosening up for the coming main pulse that hit before dark and the following day’s main event. Sequence below: Nigel Haines is one of the many “underground” guys who inhabit local breaks everywhere and just flat out rip the bag out of it as shown here eight hours later at P-Land’s evening sesh with a now fast rising swell. 

Pat Mc Manus on rail and ready to wail on this perfect P-Land nug.

Former ESM editor turned Surfline scribe and one of surfings most talented journalist’s, Matt Pruett is a borderline work-a-holic who pulls some weird-ass hours due to the ‘Lines international reach but he doesn’t miss a whole lot of surf sessions worthwhile. Pruett at P-Land no doubt working on Syntax, Synonyms, Simile’s, Onomatopoeia’s and Homographs ( look it up ) for his next feature just a few short blocks from home base. Video below Nick Rupp on dark at P-Land as the meat of the Ana event began to take hold .

Nick Rupp P-Land TS Ana By Mez @mezapixels from on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, somewhere down south a piece …

Californian Josh Tudor tagged along with Cam Richards and we’re pretty sure he didn’t regret it snagging some of the best waves of this morning session.

We think this guy did have some regrets however, at least on this one. No shame in trying.Video clip below Lucas Rogers oh so close to completing super deep tube ride via the doggy door. All considered, we’re giving to him.

Lucas Rogers, Almost… By Mez @mezapixels.MP4 from on Vimeo.

Cape Point doing it’s thing outside while, inside on the very tip of Cape Hatteras, this fisherman battled his ass off for almost 30 minutes in an epic display of man versus beast before finally landing a monster Red Drum. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen or photographed on the OBNC.

Caught ( barely ) then released unharmed. Don’t know what was harder, reeling the big ol’ sum’bitch Drum in or lifting him up with dead arm’s, but my hats off to both of them. Video below Brett Barley’s double barrel to backflip dismount, Dare County, NC.

barley-brett-backflip-barrel from on Vimeo.

Lucas Rogers, a super cool, free spirited surfer with extraordinary chops, gladly indulged me ( along with others like Ben Bourgeois, Jeff Myers and Nigel Haines ) when I asked if he would take a couple of spins on this vintage, 6-6 Claudie Codgen, early / mid-197o’s, single fin stinger swallow for my “Projekt Yellow Sunshine”. I found this beauty on the third floor a Fort Pierce FL, antique store and paid 75 bucks for it, fin included. One thing that I’ve noticed since starting this is that everybody comes out smiling and laughing which, bottom line for me, is what riding waves is all about. Needless to say, with Lucas riding it along with the other guys, we got some great stills and clips and here is a four shot sequence below from this session.

Brett Barley, not too close to home but not that far either, is this best born and raised tube rider to come from the Outer Banks ever and that is say a lot considering the several generations of pure bred tube hounds who call the place home.

Random sandbars abound from Duck to Hatteras Village. Do yourself a favor and get a 4×4 ORV year long pass and it will be worth every penny of the $120. when you roll up to one of these unoccupied spaces.

There’s a Nat Geo worthy photo to be had everywhere you go, especially in Spring and Autumn, along the shoreline of the Outer Banks’ Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Speaking of born and bred OBNC tube hounds, Jesse Hines has that pedigree in spades.

Hatteras Village wall art on the side of the local super market.

North Carolinian Nick Rupp was once a well sponsored, top level east coast grom in his teens and is now ripping even harder as an unaffiliated adult at P-Land. No amount of logos on your board will earn you respect if you can’t pull off moves like this.

FCS / Gorilla Grip rep Nigel Haines putting his products to the test at P-Land.

Morning shadows and a surf check on Pea Island, video below Owen Carter backside barrel, Dare County, NC

Owen Carter TS Ana By Mez @mezapixels from on Vimeo.

Outer Banks vet Jeff Myers is fun to shoot in the water and then shoot the shit over cold beers at the Brew Station afterwards. JM popping the top off of one at P-Land.

We thought they only made surfboard guns … ( with apologies to Rascoe Hunt and Murray Ross at Gale Force Glassing ).

Surflines Matt Pruett nicknamed Nick Rupp “the Wade Carmichael of North Carolina” when he showed up out of no where and ripped the ever luvin’ shitake out of it on his Maurice Cole freshie.

Wade Rupp, uh, we mean Nick Carmi… ah, forget about it.

A Jesse Hines powerful rail turn as smooth and sweet as Lemon Lavberry straight from the tub of his and beloved wife Whitney’s ( happy 20th you two lovers! ) Nags Head based Surfin’ Spoon frozen yogurt storefront. 

Sticking with the sweet treats metaphors, a cotton candy sunset as viewed from Hatteras Village. Please come back Monday for Part 2 of this Spring Fling Phlog.