Ah, the joys of surfing in Puerto Rico, as Steve Fitzpatrick reports for ESPN Action Sports. Wish I were there . . .
This year, the Caribbean summer was slow to die. September delivered some small clean swells, but October kind of never came. The weather remained hot into the evenings, and those big northwest swells with the early morning offshores for the island’s north coast were nowhere to be found. After Halloween the maps suddenly started to look better, and the first Friday and weekend of the month finally enjoyed classic fall conditions — 100 miles of heavy surf going off for three days straight.
As the second week of November rolled on, we were expecting a solid northwest pulse. Entering a full moon phase, the tides were surging. Forecasts were calling for 6 to 8-foot, filingl in that day. It looked like a midday bump, but you knew daybreak would be flawless, with the longest period fetch of the swell. I arrived in Aguadilla near dawn, arriving at Shayne McIntyre’s house after two hours of relaxed driving through the dark.
From the E Street lookout it was clear that the waves below were serious. Brian Toth and some others were already on it and Dylan Graves was leaving the parking area on the hike shortly after we pulled up.
With a pronounced westerly direction and plenty of size, the left had good direction while the short intense right off its west side were overwhelmed. A group including Brian and Welsey Toth, Dylan and Josie Graves, plus half dozen bodyboarders in Puerto Rico for the IBA contest at Middles were dropping into anything that looked makeable.
I parked it on the backlit side of things for the first hour, and watched both peaks as they unfolded, literally. With the tide topping out near dawn, the lineup had now gotten over the bloating of a near full moon tide and was beginning to find it’s place throughout the early morning. By 8:30 or so, I had found a spot on the right side of the sun and was hunkered down waiting for the sets.
Brian Toth waited for close to an hour, simply holding his spot on the peak as everyone else took off on nearly every set wave that came and even some in-betweeners. He almost seemed disinterested and I wondered if he’d hurt himself on one that I saw him eat it on earlier.
Then the wave rose up on the horizon. Toth knew it immediately and unassumingly paddled up under the hook, dropped in around a huge spit, slipped into the spew within an enormous keg, and emerged just before disappearing behind the rock.
For the original report go to http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/story/_/id/7243523/northwest-swell-season-puerto-rico-brian-toth-dylan-graves