Words by John Streit. Photos by Jon Carter, Daniel Brittain, Eric Murrill,  Allen Harcourt, Nick Barnas & Streit.

The Outer Banks knows many moods. Most often, treacherous, tortured seas and restless winds translate into solid surf, especially as we delve deeper into the winter season. Though sometimes when the winds are slack and the ocean is slick-calm, it’s hard to imagine such a serene place gaining the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” nickname.

While the latter scene can almost be exclusively tied to mid-summer doldrums; Saturday, Dec. 27 and Sunday, Dec. 28 proved that the cold months can harbor pristine conditions as well. With barely a molecule of wind out of place and a long-period groundswell radiating from the far reaches of the northeast Atlantic, Saturday had much more in common with a hurricane swell than your average day of solid wintertime surf. Without all of the wetsuit gear in them, these surf photography images could have easily been mistaken for a dreamy summer swell event. Yet, in the waning moments of 2014, surfers across the Mid-Atlantic were treated to radiant sunshine, cold-but-not-frigid water and solid easterly swell in the chest- to head-high range. As so often is the case, the focus of these surfers turned to the Outer Banks’ miraculous swell-drawing powers. While the long period of the swell created some run-away walls and inside double-ups, plenty of action was spread around these legendary sandbars.

Welcome to the Playground of the Atlantic.

The long period of the swell meant many spots around Hatteras Island were doubling up or closing out. This was not one of those places. Photo: Streit.
Pungo, Va.'s Lucas Rogers was frothing on the many air sections to be had at this Pea Island bowl and put on a memorable air show. Frontside, tail-high air-reverse stuffed clean: 1 of 6. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers, 2 of 6. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers, 3 of 6. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers, 4 of 6. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers, 5 of 6. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers, 6 of 6. Photo: Streit.
S-turns finding classic form. Photo: Brittain.
Ted Eberhart finds some shade from the midday sun while the surfer in the foreground sets up for some inside fun. Photo: Brittain.
S&A team rider Noah Barnas lays into this little Rodanthe gem. Photo: Brittain.
Warm, sunny skies and green water are always a welcome sight in the winter; not to mention the waves. Photo: Brittain.
S&A team rider Coeltryn Kirkland draws a speedy line. Photo: Brittain.
This photo captures the feel of the day: Beautiful waves and conditions, but very hollow and fast at most spots. Photo: Harcourt.
As adept under the lip as he is above it, Lucas Rogers threads this Pea Island needle. Photo: Harcourt.
This unidentified bodyboarder gets a classic Hatteras vision. Photo: Harcourt.
Peaks as far as the eye can see. Photo: Harcourt.
Respect the locals. Photo: Harcourt.
Shaun Devine was amped to find a prime sandbar after an afternoon of searching. Photo: Streit.
High line glide on a Valaric Surfboards single fin by Shaun Devine. Photo: Streit.
Virginia Beach-to-San Diego transplant and longtime S&A homie Jason Scoville can tell his friends back in California it gets really good back home. Photo: Streit.
Shaun Devine trims into this inside barrel section over ankle-deep water. 1 of 2. Photo: Streit.
Shaun Devine, 2 of 2. Photo: Streit.
A big frontside slab for Mr. Rogers. Photo: Streit.
It wasn't all huge airs and technical grabs. Lucas makes this inside section pay. Photo: Streit.
Lucas Rogers going mental. Photo: Streit.
Shaun Devine all over the gas pedal on this golden hour wall. Photo: Streit.
Noah Barnas looks to have his new SUPERbrand Siamese Palm Viper dialed! Photo: Barnas.
Noah Barnas gets low for some tube time. Photo: Barnas.
A few miles to the north at Avalon Pier, Asher Hunt feels the glide of his flat-rockered alternative shape. Photo: Murrill.
A crisp backhand snap from Dana Quinn. Photo: Murrill.
Julian Payne boosts into the afternoon light at Avalon. Photo: Murrill.
Sometimes a speed check makes for an awesome photo to capture the anticipation of that next big move. Julian Payne sizes up this lefthand wall. Photo: Murrill.
Sterling King takes flight. Photo: Murrill.
Zach Kenny throws down a heavy layback hack in a critical spot. Photo: Murrill.
A forehand wrap from Sterling King. Photo: Carter.
Sunday didn't have the size and power of the day before, but fun waves and insane colors were still on tap for the Avalon zone. Jeffrey Myers takes it all in. Photo: Carter.
Another picturesque punt, this time from Dana Quinn. Photo: Carter.
James Perry managed to find a green room amongst the leftovers. Photo: Carter.
Corey Hanks signs us off with a beautiful turn before beautiful skies. Photo: Carter.

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