Words by John Streit. Photos by Mickey McCarthy, Shaun Devine, Jon Carter, Colin Breland & Streit.

A random as nature may sometimes seem, my awe has always been inspired when symmetry appears in weather patterns. It could be because, as a surfer, I take a keen interest in studying the wind and waves, so if repetition arises it becomes immediately noticeable to me. This is the case with the past six swell events, which have made the summer of 2014 the best and most consistent in recent memory for the Mid-Atlantic region.

Of course, the hurricane swells receive their rightful attention from the larger surf media world. That’s understandable, as hurricane swells are akin to Zeus in East Coast surf mythology. But for those who regularly practice the art of riding waves on this side of the continent, we know that unnamed low pressure systems, frontal boundaries or prolonged periods of onshore wind can create as magical of conditions as any hurricane. As the surfing world has become more and more united by the Internet and web ventures such as this, these swells are no longer flying under the radar. Perhaps in the long term, the reputation of the East Coast being a wasteland for fun and/or pumping surf will continue to erode. But I digress.

Back to the symmetrical pattern we seem to find ourselves in. After Hurricane Arthur’s passing, a prolonged run of windswell develop to round out the month of July. Then came Bertha, which was met on the heels on another pulse of southeast swell. Cristobal was up next, sending the East Coast into hurricane swell madness. Now, we have the surprise shot of northeast wind swell associated with an area of low pressure which remained parked over us for the better part of this week. Keep in mind, summer is supposed to be the worst time of year for surf in these parts.

With a harsh and windy winter predicted for the East Coast — a byproduct of El Nino in the Pacific Ocean — I’m anxious to see if similar patterns arise as the days grow shorter, the temperatures get colder and the crowds continue to thin out until those with the thickest skin take to the water.

There was a special air of excitement around this swell. No better way to celebrate the end of tourist season with an unexpected, unnamed, un-hyped swell.  Avalon Pier, N.C. Photo McCarthy.
Sam Sykes proves that North Carolina is for (barrel) lovers, too. Photo: Carter.
S&A's Matt Price off the bottom of an Avalon beauty. Photo: McCarthy.
Matt Price in control on a heavy backside section. Photo: McCarthy.
Love this angle of this move: Daniel Hughes snaps it under the lip at Avalon. Photo: McCarthy.
Joe Cheshire sizes up an Avalon bomb. Photo: McCarthy.
Per usual, Sandbridge offered up less size on Thursday morning, but some beautiful waves were to be found up and down the beach. Photo: Devine.
Todd Pace finishing strong. Photo: Streit.
S&A team rider Evan Micele just got picked up by SUPERbrand. Here he shows why with a vertical frontside attack. Photo: Devine.
S&A's Shaun Devine, driving hard off the bottom on a round-nosed twin fin. 1 of 2. Photo: Streit.
Shaun Devine. 2 of 2. Photo: Streit.
Looking into a rippable Sandbridge lefthander. Photo: Devine.
Todd Pace fans one out. Photo: Devine.
It's been awesome seeing Evan Micele's talent expand over the past year. Power and flow in Sandbridge. Photo: Devine.
S&A's John Streit sets up for a backside gouge. 1 of 2. Photo: Devine.
John Streit. 2 of 2. Photo: Devine.
Shaun Devine lip slides over a pretty end section. 1 of 2. Photo: Streit.
Shaun Devine. 2 of 2. Photo: Streit.
From outside to inside, Todd Pace gave SB a facelift. Photo: Devine.
An early-morning swim with the GoPro produced some awesome images. Shaun Devine buries the rail and kisses the camera with a thick fan. Photo: Streit.
One of the best noseriders around, Evan Micele glides through the Virginia morning. Photo: Streit.
Cheater-five style by Shaun Devine. Photo: Streit.
Meanwhile, back on the Banks; Jon Carter gets inside this Rodanthe drainer.
Back up in town, Quentin Turko slides into the slot and nails the shot. Photo: McCarthy.
Taylor Moore going loud with the frontside lip service. Photo: McCarthy.
One of the most talented photographers on the Outer Banks, Daniel Pullen, scores some tube time of his own. Photo: Carter.
Avalon in all her glory. Photo: McCarthy.
Jeremy Peters gets on the gas at Avalon. Photo: McCarthy.
As the swell faded into the sunset, young Virginia Beach ripper Declan Myers boosts into the golden light. Photo: Breland.
John Kersey tags one at Croatan Jetty. Photo: Breland.

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