Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine, Justin Rienerth, Harrison Whitaker, Heather Bautista, Jill Thomas & Streit.

The passing of Hurricane Cristobal mirrored that of Hurricane Bertha almost identically. Both arrived in August to deliver shots of swell during an otherwise notoriously flat time of year. Both stayed comfortably offshore to spare life and property along the East Coast. And for the Mid-Atlantic Region, both swells arrived with hard northerly winds on day one followed by a light westerly breeze on day two. The storms differed in the raw power that Cristobal unleashed on the sandbars of the Outer Banks on both days. While Bertha was solid in her own right, her big brother just had that extra juice that translated to square, slab-like pits as far as the eye could see. The more sheltered shores of Virginia Beach and Sandbridge turned on with pristine peelers on Thursday morning, but the detonating lips of points south stole the show, as they usually do. Enjoy these images from the first-light and late-morning sessions from Thursday, August 28.

First light in Rodanthe yielded the sight of grinding pits all around. Photo: Streit.
Austin White driving away from the camera and into where we all want to be. Photo: Devine.
A rare sight in Virginia Beach: Peeling barrels at the Oceanfront as Cristobal's swell peaked Thursday morning. Photo: Bautista.
Morning glory at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Photo: Bautista.
Looking south from the pier, you had your pick of several peaks in Virginia Beach. Photo: Bautista.
Clean and green. Photo: Bautista.
This treasure hunter misses a jewel from Mother Nature. Photo: Bautista.
Back in Rodanthe, a perspective on split peak perfection. Photo: Streit.
S&A team rider Forrest Roberts picks off a left hand runner. Photo: Streit.
Barrels into air sections were on tap for the entire day. Forrest Roberts takes flight. Photo: Streit.
An unidentified goofyfooter finds some shade. Photo: Streit.
Sebastian Moreno, hands free on a roping righthander. Photo: Devine.
Shaun Devine, inside hand drag. Photo: Streit.
Basil Harrison, going deep. Photo: Streit.
An early morning Rodanthe bomb. Photo: Devine.
Straight kegging. Photo: Devine.
It's been said that if you don't like what you see in the Outer Banks, drive a mile up the beach. Everything was looking great at this Pea Island spot, just a short distance away from the where the previous photo was shot. Photo: Whitaker.
S&A team rider Justin Rienerth driving through a Pea Island cavern. Photo: Whitaker.
Who wouldn't throw up a shaka when this is happening right in front of you? Photo: Whitaker.
Austin White pig-dogging through another perfect Pea Island right. Photo: Whitaker.
Though not as sizable and open as Hatteras, barrels were on tap for Sandbridge. S&A's Josh Alley takes advantage. Photo: Thomas
Craig Thomas, steep and deep in Sandbridge. Photo: Thomas
Craig Thomas banks one at first light in Sandbridge. Photo: Thomas.

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