Surfers Know the True Meaning of Wanderlust

Surfers are a spontaneous breed. The thrill of travel and the excitement of a new surf break spark anxious joy in surfers wherever they are. Two weekends ago, my friends and I succumbed to the lure of wanderlust.

I boarded my first bus at 1:40 pm on Thursday in hopes of arriving in Atlantic City, NJ before 5:30 pm. My friend Shane would be waiting, outside the terminal wondering if I bailed on him or was stopped, completely baffled by the NJ Transit system.

The plan, on paper, was to take as many busses as necessary to get to Atlantic City. From there, Shane would drive to Philadelphia, PA to pick up two other stragglers, Bill and Brendan, and finally take the whole squad to Avon, NC.

More of our friends were already in Avon waiting for our arrival. We had eight hours of driving, standing between us and this upcoming weekend filled with friends and froth.

As skeptics do, we doubted the surf for our weekend in NC. The previous weekend consisted of overhead barrels supplied by Hurricane Gonzalo. We were kicking ourselves for not going the week prior. On the way down we checked reports and debated about our forecasts. Question still remained about what we would receive this weekend and the perilous drive ahead did not make us much more confident.

As we exited McDonald’s with the entire group, squished in between board bags, guys at the house who surfed all day called us to check in. Bragging over the phone made us mad at first for not being down there with them, but in the end helped morale throughout the car. The guys told us that they had two fun sessions that Thursday after they arrived at the house. The forecast looked as if it would be more of the same or even better the next day. Needless to say, we were pumped.

The car ride was long but filled with stops at Wawa, gas station skate sessions and one unwanted detour. As we arrived, we called our friends to open the door and blasted “Freebird.” It was straight to bed after we got into our house, all of us tucked away dreaming of surf.

I was awoken the next morning by a shining sun and loud music around 7:30 am. Breakfast consisted of Fruity Pebbles and warm sun on our backs. We packed everything in the cars and shoved off to surf to a spot the rest of the guys surfed the day before. We got there around 9:30 am and there were a bunch of people out right in front, so as we walked down the beach a bit we realized no one was in the water.  We figured we’d take this other spot to avoid the crowds, and it looked as good, maybe even better, than the crowded point break that we saw at first.

We paddled out and it was a bit mushy because of the high tide. When the tide switched and started to recede to low the surf seemed to turn on.  The swell seemed to have reached its highest point as well. We were surfing clean three to four foot waves and they were all left to us; No one else in the water.

We were loving it. Everyone was surfing at their best and we stayed out for hours. I could not have asked for a better session.

As it died off a little bit around 2:00 pm, we all slowly got out of the water smiling our asses off and laying on the beach tired but satisfied.

“That was a good session,” said Brendan, “let’s go get some beers.”

Everyone agreed in unison and we drove back to the house on a mission. We made food, bonded to some great music, looked through pictures and videos, all while appreciating the surf we just scored. Still frothing, we went back out a few hours later and got similar waves. Not everything that the first session gave us, but still a great time.

We had early nights in North Carolina. Dinner was made right after our evening sessions and not many of us had the energy to stay up all night after long days of surfing. This lifestyle differed heavily from the collegiate schedule of sleeping in as much as possible and staying up late at night.

And that was how the weekend went. For two straight days we woke up early and surfed from sun up to sun down, with nights starting early and ending the same way. It was a truly beautiful weekend. We all enabled ourselves to escape our everyday lives for a short period of time, and that was a beautiful thing.

Looking back, we got the best waves the weekend had to offer on that first morning’s surf session. However, it didn’t matter, it was awesome we scored like that, but we would have enjoyed it no matter what. The weekend was highly anticipated and it did not disappoint. We all left a bit bummed, but satisfied in the end.

Looking forward, it makes you appreciate friends and our ability to come together even with busy schedules to share some great times with great surf that will make everlasting memories. No matter what is going on in life, friends can always balance you out and bring you back to an equilibrium. This trip did just that.  ​