Fall at the coast is one of my favorite times of year.

For the past ten years it is routine for me to make three or four trips to the coast for some surfing. By the end of summer I am usually pretty burnt out on the monotony of sales rep preseason orders and I’ve normally taken about a jillion runs down the Green River Narrows. All that gets old and I like to take a break and head for the beach. Surf kayaking brings a smile to my face and a feeling of joy to my heart.

Mid September I landed at Wrightsville Beach for the 2nd Annual Gordon Invitational with the fine company of one of my finest paddling and surfing amigos, Felipe. Gordon & Paula Rock and the ESKA once again did an excellent job organizing and running the event. We were not blessed with large surf but it was glassy and offshore most of the day with waist high waves rolling in and an occasional chest high on the good sets. Check out the video for a couple shots I was able to get from the beach and with the waterproof housing.
September Surfing Video
Thanks to Rosanne Fulcher, Joey Hall and Alison Latham for filming on the beach. I think I forgot to credit you guys on the video itself.

Felipe gave me a couple board surfing lessons that were invaluable and finally got me up and surfing down he line of a few waves. Surfing a board is such an awesome compliment to kayak surfing. I wouldn’t think of quitting paddle surfing but boarding has made me appreciate waves so much more. I’m a board rider at heart with over 20 years skatebaording and 13 snowboarding. It was inevitable that I would end up on a board.

I came out with an almost clean sweep of this year’s Gordon Invitational taking 1st in IC, 1st in K1 and 2nd in HP. Russ Buskirk took his first ever 1st place in HP. He surfed really well in his Reaction and definitely deserved the win. I was stoked to get another top 3 placment in the Charger.

Late September, Shari, Mason and I met our good friends Drew and Eileen Hayes for a week down on Hatteras Island.
Eileen, Drew, Drew’s rod… and reel.

Drew kept trying to get Shari to sniff the very tip of his tongue. Reluctantly she took a whif.

Drew holds up the lighthouse and saves us all from being squashed.

I can’t think of a better place to be than the OBX during the Fall. The sweet sea air feels so good in your lungs, the temperature is usually very moderate in the Fall, there are fish to be caught and waves to be ridden.

The surf was almost nonexistent all week (a big boo hoo for the Eastern Surf Boarding Championships that was being held that exact week) except for one day a passing weather system kicked up waist-chest high swell. Coupled with a light offshore breeze, this was some of the most excellent surf a wave rider could ask for.

Drew paddles out during one of the larger sets.

There was nothing real large or pushy, just clean, crisp rides and peeling shoulders.

The waves were coming in nonstop in perfectly spaced sets with long periods. Drew and I were a couple of happy campers, let me tell you.
Drew hauls tail down the line.

Me getting a taste of weightlessness.

One too many mosquitos came into the car and were ushered right on out of this life and to the next.

Of course Drew introduced my son to a number of criminal activities.

Drew Hayes is not known for sea kayaking.

Lastly, I want to wish all my friends who are competing in the world championships over in Spain good luck and good skill. The break there looks absolutely sick and I wish I was there. I plan on going to the next worlds for sure wherever that may be. After a four year hiatus I feel like I should give it another shot.

Watch the September Surfing Video

Later,

Spencer Cooke, Effort.tv

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