Tag Archive for: Mike Whisnant surfboards

My Pics from the Dec. 2022 East Coast Megaswell

17 Dec
December 17, 2022
One wrong wave is all it takes. In the words of Turtle, “When the wave breaks here, don’t be there.”

I’d usually be sharing a few GoPro pics from such an incredible, historic swell like the one that hit the entire East Coast in mid-December. As it turned out, I captured only one pic from that swell (above).

I had so much fun surfing Central Florida during the earlier Ian swell earlier this summer, that I decided to try another strike mission to score the biggest surf I could find, once again, down in Satellite Beach (South Cocoa, actually) behind my buddy Mike Johnson’s condo. And once again, it was firing! The forecasts had been calling for 4′-6′ with OK winds at home in Jax, but 6′-9′ down there with good winds, and that’s exactly how it played out.

I had planned the surf the whole day with Mike and another good friend and Satellite local, Mike Wilhite (originally from Jax/OP). What you see in the photo happened the very first thing in the morning, when I was paddling out through the bombing high tide shore break. (See the image from Raw Surf – that’s the break and we were, just down to the south) I was a little worried about taking my beloved 5′ 11″ Whisnant out in this surf (I really needed to be using a step-up), but I’m a one-board guy, and it had held up nicely in Ian, Nicole, and other large hurricane/storm swells. But these waves were even bigger and stronger.

I was almost through it but got clipped by an insanely powerful wave that broke on top of me while I was duck diving and driving me further down under the surface. I had heard a loud “pop” as the wave broke and when I managed to get my head back above water, I noticed a 3″ crack on the left side of my board. I thought there was a good chance it had buckled and when I saw the gash, I knew I was right. I had just enough time to feel the underside of my board with my palm to confirm that it had indeed buckled before a second set wave exploded on me and finished the job on my board. The whole thing lasted just a few seconds.

With my board/floatation device now on either side of me in two pieces, that wave also held me down for a bit and left me sucking air when I surfaced, which hasn’t happened to me in a very long time. All of it just felt pretty sudden and violent.

Ultimately, however, it felt like I was only in the water for a total of about a minute. and unfortunately, that’s all it took. Mike Wilhite loaned me a 6′ 2″ Epoxy backup, so I was at least able to paddle back out but I was frazzled the rest of the day. Oh well, I had an awesome time seeing the boys and am currently working on getting myself a replacement board. I’ll be back down that way again the next time the waves get big. It is a fun spot that holds big waves well on the right tides.

A little context

420s (Four Twenties) Surf Break, Viti Levu, Fiji

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

420's surf break, Fiji

These were some big, fast steep waves! This place rarely breaks. Only on large swells. And it was ON!

Big Rights in the Land of Lefts

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

erua Rights, surfing in Fiji

This section of Serua Rights gets big… it just keeps growing… and growing…

GoPro Perspectives

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

I haven't used a GoPro much, but bought one for this trip. They offer some interesting perspectives

I haven’t used a GoPro much, but bought one for this trip. They offer some interesting perspectives

Speed line

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

Top turn at Pipes, Fiji. One of the fastest waves I've had the pleasure to ride

Top turn at Pipes, Fiji. One of the fastest waves I’ve had the pleasure to ride

Liquid Highway, Fast Lane

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

Pipes Surf Break, Viti Levu, Fiji

Not a wave to play around with! Drop in fast, get to the bottom and hang on!

Pipes, Viti Levu, Fiji

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

Pipes surf break in Fiji

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