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The Surfing Year 2001 Retrospective
"My 3 Best Surfs of 2001"
What a solid, stokin' surf year it's been in 2001!  Despite a mostly skunking series of trips to my "local" Ocean City, Maryland area breaks, 3-hrs on-the-road each way, I was blessed with several work and holiday trips that found me in Hawaii, San Diego (twice), the Outer Banks (twice) and Puerto Rico.  This year's best surfin' period jump started on Christmas Day 2000 and carried on into the New Year.

Picking out the "best three surfs" can be a tough proposition.  My best continuous period of surf was in PR, highlighted by two outstanding days and good to excellent surf every other day.  Other sessions are sometimes judged relative to expectations, a dearth of surf, or some other subjective criteria that doesn't necessarily measure up to the best surfing conditions but to a highly rewarding surfing experience.  So here goes:

1) January 5th - Maria's Beach in Rincón and Table Rock. Doña Maria's point was classic 6-8' with only a handful of us, including my son, setting up by the 2nd rock.  Later in the day my good friend Pepe and I surfed Table Rock by ourselves.  Both rare treats. Air: 80s, water: 77F.

2) November 27th - 13th Street, Ocean City and Naval Jetties, Delaware. Finally caught some excellent head high+ surf after waiting for many moons. Tropical Storm Olga generated some late season groundswell that blessed the East Coast for nearly two weeks.  This was probably the best day of the swell. Shared these sessions with fellow ASer and Annapolis Surf Club kahuna, Neal Carver.  Air: upper-50s to mid-60s, water: lo- to mid-50s.  A warm water lover, this is some of the latest season surfing I have ever done.

3) Early August - Cape Hatteras. A rewarding trip to Cape Hatteras was capped by an AS micropalooza long weekend with Flek, Myron, and SteveM.  Flek and I scored some early morning “Quad Overhead” (solid 4 footers) glassy barrels w/A-frames busting out up and down this stretch of beach, at the Lion’s Den .  Nice 2 to 3 hour session.  My SportsCenter moment was a solid 5-seconds plus tube ride with the lip pounding my legs all the way.  Lot's of late take-offs in the curl, side slipping coverups. Days like today remind me why we East Coasters cherish our pounding beach break peaks, especially the premier breaks of Hatteras and Ocean City, MD (arguably the best collection of breaks on the East Coast <g>).  Flek ripped some nice lefts on his longboard and caught some nice rights. The Man also demonstrated some incredible styling kickouts including the Quasimoto Takeoff Kickout and the Walk Away Kickout.  He is awesome!  The weekend sessions also featured Myroni’s fabled home brews, Flek’s mastery of Mike's Hard Lemonade and red wine, watching some surf videos, good food, and some advance GP planning.

Very honorable mentions – these short snippets don’t do them justice:

February - Oahu - Huge Surf on the North Shore. Fun sessions in smaller surf with Sus, Neal and Bud at the Lighthouse, a westside spot, and Lani’s.

March - San Diego - 3 days shacking with Craig Kemnitz. 4:30 am dawn patrols and Sunset Cliffs tours by George Barnes, surf session at the Cliffs w/ASers Kneed4speed and sdbchguy; lunch w/the Nextmill crew, Graeme & Craig and follow-up surf w/Craig at Old Mans

July - San Diego - PontoPalooza. Hosted by Joanne VanMeter, this was the highlight AS session. Late afternoon surf was nondescript but a huge AS contingent dined on BBQ and Dan King’s famous margaritas and then was entertained by a surfing slide shows by George Barnes and Terry Hendricks. Ben Rak (Israel), Bill Andrews, Tom Duncan, Mike L were in attendance.  Fun session at Big Rock with only 1 or 2 others (61F trunked it!); Keener on a bodyboard at Horseshoes; JJ’s head-high session w/complimentary drinks by Joanne; just missed a water session w/Maddux and Hermesman at Trestles; digestive bug that turned out to be HepA made the last days a bummer.  How the hell does this get an honorable mention???

October - Cape Hatteras - GuidoPalooza 2001. Surf was small and crappy most of the time but the camaraderie was outstanding. The hot tub was fantastic!  By the end it was time to remove the Guinness IV.  Our fortunes were to make so many initial close encounters with so many outstanding ASERS, for me: DeeDee, Ferg, Todd, Andy Woodard.

Most Memorable Bum Day of Surfing:  Sept 11th - OC/Md and Indian River Inlet Northside.  Early session in OC/Md that wasn’t quite working takes me north to Delaware and the twilight zone – I had been in a radio blackout and the news of 9-11 starts trickling in at IRI.  Enough said.

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Last updated on 12/29/05