Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine, Mickey McCarthy, Jon Carter, Jeanine Montgomery, Jennifer Phan, Jessiah Rudolph & Billy Ficke.

All good things must come to an end. East Coast surfers are uniquely attuned to this universal law. Due to the nature of our coast’s setup to most of it’s swell-producing weather events, we’re lucky if there are consectuive days of rideable surf — let alone pumping conditions — each time the ocean comes alive. You see, most of our wave-making low pressure systems must exit the continent before regaining strength over the Gulf Stream, which flows parallel, and close, to the coast. As the storms accelerate off to the northeast to send bombing swell to Europe, our coast is literally left behind, waiting for the next pulse of low pressure to develop.

Last week’s nor’easter was particularly powerful as it spun in the western Atlantic, sending ample leftovers to the Outer Banks on Thursday, Dec. 11. Sure, it was a shadow of its double-overhead showing at places like Cape Hatteras Lighthouse the day before, there were still plenty of groomed lines and peaky barrels to be had at the better sandbars. By Friday morning, the ocean returned to a more restful state as it awaits its next stormy awakening. Until then, enjoy our latest gallery of Outer Banks surf photography.


First light on Dec. 11 yielded fairer winds and less size than the day before. There were still plenty of gems to be had. Photo: Devine.
One wave, three teepees. Photo: Devine.
Mornings as cold as Thursday's make finding an inside break like this a priority. Photo: Devine.
Outer Banks up-and-comer Quentin Turko with barrel-riding skills beyond his years. 1 of 5. Photo: Carrter.
Quentin Turko, 2 of 5. Photo: Carter
Quentin Turko, 3 of 5. Photo: Carter
Quentin Turko, 4 of 5. Photo: Carter
Quentin Turko, 5 of 5. Photo: Carter
Justin Reinerth witnesses a moment of Pea Island perfection. Photo: Devine.
A frigid A-frame. Photo: Devine.
With the northeast angle of the swell and a northwest wind, the lefts were predominant throughout the swell event. Photo: Devine.
The swell dropped throughout the day on Thursday as the nor'easter continued to pull away from the coast. That didn't mean Tyler Balak was ready to call it quits. 1 of 3. Photo: Phan.
Tyler Balak, 2 of 3. Photo: Phan.
Tyler Balak, 3 of 3. Photo: Phan.
A timeless image of the northside bowl at Avalon Pier. Photo: Ficke.
Groomed lines were on tap for Kill Devil Hills on Thursday. Photo: Ficke.
Flashback to Wednesday. While the Lighthouse was serving up double-overhead bombs, this in-town sandbar tuned out head-high cylindars for Matt Price. 1 of 4. Photo: Rudolph.
Matt Price, 2 of 4. Photo: Rudolph.
Matt Price, 3 of 4. Photo: Rudolph.
Matt Price, 4 of 4. Photo: Rudolph.
Check out the spray from Virginia Beach's Sebastian Moreno's bottom turn to set up this crisp lip hit. Photo: Carter.
Virginia Beach-to-Hatteras transplant Hunter Hicks hits the brakes on this backhand pit. Photo: Carter.
Tyler Balak lights it up in town. Photo: Phan.
Todd Pace banks a golden hour hook. Photo: Phan.
Young Outer Banks ripper Noah Futrell tucks and runs with this pretty peeler. Photo: Montgomery.
S&A team rider Evan Micele with a little tube time. Photo: Montgomery.
Jordan Montgomery just reentered the lineup after rehabbing a severe knee injury that kept him out of the water for most of the year. Here, he finds fine form. Photo: Montgomery.
A parting shot from a memorable shot of winter swell. Photo: Devine.

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