Last summer, in August, Hurricane Bill formed of off a tropical wave off the coast of Western Africa. It turned into a tropical depression near the Cape Verde islands, then upgraded to a tropical storm. It headed over Bermuda and up the East coast, turning into a category 4 hurricane, with winds up to 135 mph. As it moved north, it lost some of its power but still managed to kill two people. As the hurricane got closer to Rye, NH, it created some great swell.
I went down to check the waves on Saturday, August 27. It was pouring with rain and as I walked onto the beach, I remember just seeing massive waves, at least 10 feet high. I saw one guy out there, one brave soul. It was way to big for me to surf. I came back the next day and it was really sunny. The waves had gotten even bigger, about 12 feet now, and if I tried to get out there on my board it would be suicide. There were a lot more guys out there though, but there were a lot of closeouts, and I remember seeing half of them taking spectacular wipe outs.
I decided to get my body board and go in a little bit, just catching waves that had already broken for the heck of it. I remember once, I paddled out a little bit further and attempted to catch a wave that was about 4 or 5 feet high, it hadn't broken yet. I managed to get into it and as I dropped in on my body board that didn't even have a leash, I just remember the wave sucking out from underneath me. I just dropped, straight to the bottom of the wave and the body board shot out from underneath me. As I hit the water, my back twisted in ways I didn't even think was possible. After that I got out of the water because my back was killing me. Just as we started to leave the lifeguards came by and kicked everyone out of the water. Good timing.
The day after that, it was Monday, I came back again. The waves were perfect; about chest to head high with overhead sets. I grabbed my 5'10 apoxy zouvi board and paddled out. I sat there for about fifteen minutes watching surfers around me catch great waves, occasionally paddling for one until someone would drop in farther down and I would have to back out so I didn't drop in on them. There is a whole surfing etiquette out there. No one speaks about it, you just know it. One rule is that you never drop in on someone else's wave. Whoever is closest to where it's breaking has right of way. Anyway, eventually my perfect wave came. Somehow, there was no one around me, and I knew that this was mine. I paddled as hard as I could, trying to get into the wave as early as possible. As soon as I felt the wave's force pulling me in, I popped up and sped across the face, almost like a dance, the crest of the wave chasing behind me. I surfed way down the beach until eventually it closed out at the very end, where I turned off the back, jumping into the water. I slid back on my board and paddled back out. I surfed for about two more hours, but I didn't know how long I had been out, I lost track of time. I went home and came back later that day, heading out again at 7:30 at night. That was some of the best surfing I had all year.