Surfing the Carolina Coast

In the past seven months I have gone surfing in the Atlantic Ocean on exactly four different trips.  I know this for a couple reasons:  One, I was there and remember.  Two, I took some pictures.

September, 2011 – Folly Beach SC

Sea Kayak Carolina at Folly Beach SC was a host of the 2011 US East team selections for the upcoming World Championships of Surf Kayaking.

Yonton and Mary Ross were in charge of weener roasting.

Inside Sea Kayak Carolina we had a meet and greet, snacks and a test screening of my new short film, How to go Surf Kayaking.

I had recently received my new surf boats, the Sword and Ninja 7'6", from Murky Water Paddling Supply

In my own true form I broke my boat on the first day out. I've always had bad luck with composite boats.

Matt Faust came to my rescue and did a quick repair job.

Joey Hall shows off one of his latest fashions. After all, he is the King of all Fashion.

This is the kind of reaction you get when you ask just about any question to the surf jackasses. Joey and Raymond standing in as representatives of aforementioned group.

Anthony Bell paddles back out during a competiton heat at the Washout, a popular break on Folly Beach.

October, 2011 – Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head NC

Once again, Anthony Bell paddles back out, this time in considerably heavier surf during World Championshp competition at the Outer Banks of NC.

This was me going for something off the lip in my Ninja 7'6". I failed to advance out of the first round of competition in the short boat "HP" division. It was still a great time and great waves.

My wife and kids came out to greet me after I was eliminated from the long boat competition. This was my personal best performance at a world event, making semi finals and placing 7th in the world. I've attended four world championship events and never made it out of one single heat until now. So I'm pleased to have done this well and to have had smiling faces greet me on the beach.

The US East Team placed 4th, just one point out of third place. With all the work we did to organize and run the event, and to surf and compete, I think the team was happy to take 4th.

November, 2011 – Wrightsville Beach NC – Thanksgiving

One of the best parts about surfing is that moment when you walk up to the beach and you can just see over the dunes. And your heart is filled with joy when you see the bumps rolling in smoothly.

It's always great to see old friends in familiar places. Jud Watkins came off the couch to show me he could still surf better than anyone out there.

4 mph offshore winds and nobody else in the water, Jud runs down the line on a beauty of a wave.

Jud was pampering his recently healed broken shoulder so he took a few minute break to shoot some photos of me. We both opted for the long boats on this day, and I've been loving the Sword so much lately that I could probably surf it anytime and be happy.

This scene happened shortly afterwards, then we held hands and rode a pink unicorn down the beach, only to find that a leprechaun had beaten us to the pot of gold.

January, 2012

Joey returned a prototype Sword to me. This was one of the boats that Riot made in China that didn't quite hold up for us. Joey did the koi fish design on the bow, as well as all the graphics for the Ninja and Sword boats.

April, 2012 – Folly Beach, SC – East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival

The East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival is annually organized by Josh Hall and Charleston County Parks and Recreation. This year some weather came through and brought us a few waves. No complaints here.

Matt Faust prepares to paddle out at the Folly Beach Pier.

Yonton Mehler and I paddle out. Conditions were what you see here; brown, choppy and a bit random, but still loads of fun, powerful and fast.

Yonton takes off and looks both ways before crossing his t's and dotting his i's.

Yonton takes off again as I paddle out.

Thanks to Matt Faust for hopping out and taking some pics of us from the pier. It's always tough to sit any length of time out of a good surf session, but it is really fun to have photos to remember the waves by.

Until next time,
Spencer Cooke – Effort, Inc.

ps: Check out Ninja Surf Kayak Designs!

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