For how fickle the southside of Hatteras Island can be, this is the potential that keeps you coming back for more — no matter how many times you get skunked. Photo: Brittain.

Words by John Streit. Photos by Daniel Brittain.

As the wind howled and the rain fell Sunday night, I was on the fence about the prospect of going all-in on what’s always a tough gamble. With every forecast update, it became clearer and clearer that the best shot at fun surf for the next day lied in the furthest reaches of the southern Outer Banks: around the bend of Cape Hatteras on the southside of the island.

For those of us who call Virginia Beach home, that’s a solid three-hour drive. To catch it around first light, you’ve got to set the alarm for 4 a.m. Once you’ve made the trip, the rest is in Mother Nature’s fickle hands.

The swell charts showed solid numbers for the morning, but dropping sharply throughout the day. In the end, the possibility of a day of fun surf in relatively warm water in the middle of winter proved irresistible. So the call was made — a predawn trek to the Southside. Hopefully it’ll be fun.

As the morning coffee kicked in, we received a picture text from our friend Brian that kicked our stoke level through the roof. It’s not just fun, it’s going off!

With the coldest part of winter just before us, this day became instantly memorable — no gloves, no hood and vibrant sunshine on Dec. 30 with plenty of barreling right-handers peeling off into the afternoon.


John Streit. Photo: Brittain.


Brian Bassett: If it’s barreling within a day’s drive of Virginia Beach, you can get that he’s on it and pulling in with the best of them. Photos: Brittain.


You’re out there. Photo: Brittain.


In the winter, there’s nothing better than scoring an inside sandbar looking like this. Photo: Brittain.


An unidentified stylist slashes an inside section. Photo: Brittain.


While biggest waves of the day feathered on the outside and rolled mushy through the inside, the mid-sized waves were the ones that really hit the bank and unloaded. Photo: Brittain.


Brain Basset. Photo: Brittain.


Joey Holland. Photo: Brittain.


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