Today is my day off from running.
My alarm clock rings at 7 a.m. (hell yeah, sleeping in!) and instead of going straight to work I decide a surfing pit stop is necessary to get the day off to a good start.
I meet my buddy JB as the beach ramp opens at 8 a.m. The inlet is already crowded at New Smyrna Beach. We paddle out. The ocean is as glassy as an oil slick with the sun glaring intensely off the surface. The choice waves at the best spot are about chest high, but there is a strange vibe in the water today. It's not negative, just strange. JB feels it too. The normal crowd is not out. We paddle south to another sand bar that is a little shallower in hopes of picking up some longer lines to surf. After an hour I'm just not feeling it and I tell JB I'm headed in to go to work.
Drying off at my truck, I decide to cruise down to the jetty and climb up on the rocks in the hopes of getting a few decent or amusing pictures of the short boarders aggressively dropping in on each other at the most crowded and peaky spot. It's something I've been meaning to do for a while and today is perfect since it's right around the full moon high tide. The water is high and I'm able to get out far enough on the rocks to be shooting down the line at the surfer for a different perspective than the usual direct from the beach shot.
Immediately I notice Austin, a local college student who works part time at a surf shop, sitting on his long board INSIDE the inlet completely alone. Earlier I saw him paddle north, away from the pack and wondered where the hell he was heading since it looked as if he was going out to sea. He's a phenomenal longboarder and when I see him I know what's up. New Smyrna Inlet rarely breaks on the inside where the boats come and go from. The swell has to be from the right direction and the tide has to be high enough. Right now there are both! I take a few pictures and then notice a local pharmacist that's another amazing longboarder along with his wife a couple of their daughters paddling out. I'm getting some really great pictures of all of them and starting to muster up some energy to join them when JB climbs up the rocks behind me. He's also wondered down the beach and found me. It's on! We grab our boards and join the fun.
It's a super fun vibe now as there are only eight of us with the entire inside of the inlet to ourselves. Only 100 feet away on the other side of the rocks lie about 200 guys on short boards snaking each other, fighting and dropping in on each other for a wave that's not nearly as clean and long as the one we are surfing. Stoked out of my mind I ride wave after wave with these wonderful people. The vibe in the water is everything! The rides are long... nearly the length of a football field and they all begin at one point near the rocks and peel off to the right toward the Intracoastal Waterway. Point Break at New Smyrna Beach??? You bet!
After a half hour the tide starts pushing out and the wind picks up out of the south. That oil slick glass turns into a slightly bumpy texture and the consistency of the wave deteriorates. The fun is over, but I'm stoked for the rest of the work day!