Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine, Mickey McCarthy, Jon Carter, Riley Shelton, Justin Rienerth, Allen Harcourt, Billy Ficke & Ethan Smith.

Gonzalo, our seventh named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, proved to be a lucky number seven for the Outer Banks. For three days in a row, the swell of this seventh son of the tropics translated to a jackpot of good-to-epic conditions along the Dare County coast. A slot machine indeed, Gonzalo produced countless tubes from in-town to Buxton. Those who rolled the dice and tangoed with the heavy lips, elevator drops and guillotine sections experienced the give-and-take of this game: for every made barrel there’s a beatdown to be had. Simply put: you have to pay to play.

First light in Pea Island on Friday, Oct. 17 yielded sights like up and down the beach. Photo: Rienerth.
The swell peaked during the early hours of Saturday. Justin Rienerth sizes up an insider as the swell reached its zenith. Photo: Devine.
The morning's low tides and pumping ESE swell put a lot of texture and bounce in the lineup on Hatteras Saturday morning, but some incredible waves were still able to sneak through. Photo: Devine.
The raw power of Hurricane Gonzalo was on full display along Hatteras' shores. Photo: Harcourt.
As the tide filled in and the swell eased slightly on Saturday, conditions began to turn on at the better sandbars. This Pea Island freight train is an inviting as it is menacing. Photo: Devine.
As dedicated of a barrel hunter as there is out there, Raven Lundy reaps the benefits. Photo: Phan.
Raven Lundy styling in yet another picturesque Carolina barrel - what he does best. Photo: Phan.
The three days of the swell on the Outer Banks featured a staggering variety of waves. Allen Harcourt captures a shorebreak wave detonating. Photo: Harcourt.
S&A team rider Tyler Balak re-entered the gladiator pit that is driving through Hatteras pits for the first time since returning from a knee injury; and yet again, it more than passed the test. Photo: Phan.
Tyler Balak slides into a solid inside section. Photo: Phan.
Austin White gets low to race with this running drainer. Photo: Rienerth.
Justin called this guys "Mysto Man" when I checked for identification. Here goes Mysto Man into a mysto right tube. Photo: Rienerth.
Virginia Beach's John Kersey threw down a memorable session of backside tuberiding on Saturday. Photo: Rienerth.
Stacks on stacks. Photo: Devine.
Groomed barreling lines march through the morning light at Nags Head Pier. Photo: Smith.
Jeffrey Myers below sea level on a thick righthanger. Photo: Carter.
Jared Cera trims a high boogie line at Avalon. Photo: Carter.
I always wonder just how many barrels reel off during any given swell. From the looks of it, Gonzalo could have easily set a record. Photo: McCarthy.
Jeff Edmonson off the bottom on this south Avalon cylinder. Photo: McCarthy.
Ryan Rhodes dialed in to this in-town right. Photo: Shelton/Local As It Gets
Jared Jennings is always on it when it's firing at home. Photo: Shelton/Local As It Gets
With heavy sideshores in the forecast for Sunday, the late afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 18 was the final window for scoring Gonzalo. Photo: Devine.
One of my favorite sights while paddling out: a peak wrapping into a bowl around the sandbar. Photo: Devine.
The ledge. Photo: Devine.
Justin Rienerth rides off into this sunset barrel. Photo: Devine.

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