South Swell (1)

Rodanthe, N.C. doing its best righthand pointbreak impression. Photo: McCarthy.

Photos by Mickey McCarthy. Words by John Streit.

Before I ever saw a single photo the Outer Banks’ Mickey McCarthy snapped, his reputation as a master surfboard shaper preceded him in my mind. One of my first boards as a grom was a New Sun, the label under which he still produces boards at Kill Devil Hills’ Gale Force Glassing factory.

As my skills progressed — by now I had seen his photos in the pages of Eastern Surf Magazine — I found another “2M” shape under my feet in the form of his experimental “EXP” shape (think a high-volume shortboard with a parabolic cutaway on the rails between the front fins and trailer fin). I really connected with that board and it opened my mind to the infinite possibilities of riding alternative shapes, which I have personally made my pursuit in surfing in the years since.

Enter Facebook. Once I linked in to Mickey’s social network, I have been enjoying a steady diet of classic Outer Banks photography across several decades on his feed. Immediately I realized, this guy’s always on it, and that really stoked me out and motivated me to immerse myself in the power of the ocean and document the adventure.

So you can imagine how stoked I was to see a couple of emails from Mr. McCarthy containing these photos from Hurricane Bertha’s swell! Also needless to say, we’re honored to feature 2M’s iconic photography in the pixels of this website. Thanks to him for sharing! We’re already looking forward to the next shot of swell to see what Mickey captures next! Be sure to follow him on Facebook for many, many awesome examples of his great work.


Backlit and barreling in: This was the pre-duck-dive scene repeated in many times over on Hatteras Island on Wednesday, Aug. 6. Photo: McCarthy.

Rodanthe Pier

Lines stacked to the horizon. You got to love hurricane season on the Outer Banks — especially when the only storm impacts are reeling waves. Photo: McCarthy.

Mirlo Beach

You can bet the power of the ocean is making quite an impression on the little guy in this photo. Mirlo Beach, N.C. Photo: McCarthy.

Bertha comes through for us

The north end of Rodanthe was as crowded as it was firing. Fortunately; a steady current, consistent swell and multiple peaks working spread out the crowd enough for everyone to get plenty of waves. Photo: McCarthy.



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