Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine.

The swell that followed on the heels of Hurricane Gonzalo demonstrated why we love autumn in the Tarheel State. The unique geography of the Outer Banks paired with restless fall weather patterns translates to a wealth of fun surf; with or without help from a named tropical system. Case in point: Thursday, Oct. 23 at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. All that was needed was a weak area of low pressure to pull off of the Virginia coast to send a solid shot of short-period windswell to the shores of Dare County. Without the incessant hype that named storms generate, the crowds were but a fraction of what was seen just days before when Gonzalo passed off the coast. Virginia Beach surf photographer Colin Breland made the journey to “The Wave Magnet” to document this — as he described it –“killer day without a name.”

No hurricane hype means no hurricane crowds at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Photo: Breland.
Outer Banks shredder Cody Craig jams his fins over the lip. Photo: Breland.
Wave magnet. Photo: Breland.
Halfway through a full-rotation off-the-lip, this unidentified surfer stakes his claim at the East Coast's most iconic surf spot. Photo: Breland.
More autumn Outer Banks magic. Photo: Breland.
Yep, there are rights to be had at the Lighthouse as well. Photo: Breland.
Virginia Beach up-and-comer Laird Myers digs in. Photo: Breland.
Laird Myers with style and power beyond his years. Photo: Breland.
Short-period windswell does the Outer Banks good. Photo: Breland.
An unidentified Buxton local proves he has the spot dialed. Photo: Breland.

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