Words by John Streit. Photos by Colin Breland.

“Should we go for it? It looks like it could be pretty good, but man that’s a long haul.”

And so began the conversation that so often accompanies the prospect of making the nearly three-hour drive from Virginia Beach to the furthest reaches of Southside Hatteras Island. There’s a reason why it’s call the “Frisco Disco:” it’s a dance between your expectations, the day’s conditions and the fickle nature of this stretch of The Graveyard of the Atlantic. But with a healthy dose of south windswell hanging on in the teeth of a gusty and frigid northwest wind, we decided to charge toward our best chance of scoring surf on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

As reports from some friends who surfed the stretch earlier in the day began to pour in, the anticipation levels ratcheted skyward. We knew there was swell in the water, but a forecast calling for the swell to fade and a late-afternoon high tide placed just a seed of doubt into our minds, no matter how small. Glances at the conditions north of Cape Hatteras’ bend provided more encouragement, but the race was on to get wet before sunset.

The first look over the dunes on the Southside erased all of the nagging doubts. With the trip instantly validated, it was a mad dash to suit up and take advantage of the gift of fun surf as we entered the final two hours of daylight. While the waves weren’t of the “all-time” category, waist- to chest-high barrels and playful inside sections paired with a brilliant sunset made for a memorable session.



The view from the top deck of the Buxton Hotels stretch produced some photogenic moments, but we were destined to continue the search to the Southside. Photo: Breland.
The Lighthouse offered a sheltered peak from the persistent northwest winds. If you look closely at the horizon, you can see some massive swells breaking out to sea across Diamond Shoals. Photo: Breland.
The anticipation builds. Photo: Breland.
Pull up and score! Photo: Breland.
The previous vista has S&A teammates John Streit and Julian Smith scrambling to suit up for the last light session. Photo: Breland.
This unidentified surfer brought a well-balanced attack to the Southside. Photo: Breland.
The same unidentified ripper gets low for a backside tube. Photo: Breland.
Unidentified throws a fan into the afternoon light. Photo: Breland.
Julian Smith sets up on a pretty peeler. Photo: Breland.
Brian McArthur hooks it back to the pocket. Photo: Breland.
John Streit lays a rail into an inside section. Photo: Breland.
The waves barreled on the outside before softening up on the inside trough, providing an open face for big turns like this one from Julian Smith. Photo: Breland.
Jetty team rider Dallas Tolson powers through the inside. Photo: Breland.
Julian Smith. Photo: Breland.
Another frontside hook from Julian Smith. Photo: Breland.
Another unidentified surfer banks an off-the-top. Photo: Breland.
Julian Smith pulling in. Photo: Breland.
A backside rock-n-roll from John Streit. Photo: Breland.
Brian Bassett finds fine form on his frontside. Photo: Breland.
As a brilliant sunset unfolded, so did this gem of a left with Brian Bassett along for the ride. Photo: Breland.
A breathtaking golden hour. Photo: Breland.
Indescribable beauty. Photo: Breland.

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