Surfing North Carolina: Storm Swells and Southern Hospitality

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I find as much joy in photographing the surf experience as I do in surfing itself. Being out in the water has become such a meditative activity for me; whether I’m shooting or surfing, it requires constant focus on the moment, fighting currents, dodging surfers, framing the shot, and always being prepared to take a few to the head. 

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Photography has ebbed and flowed throughout my life. It is something I can always take with me that allows me to exercise my creative mind wherever I am in the world.

 Surfer: Austin Parker

Surfer: Austin Parker

North Carolina was the first place I actually surfed in board shorts. To be honest, I could not be more excited for winter. I love the cold water, bone chilling winds, and empty line ups.

 Surfer: Karson Lewis

Surfer: Karson Lewis

I was a little hesitant moving from Washington State, where there are generally more bald eagles flying above you than people in the water. Surf photography can be challenging in a new environment. I usually paddle out the first few times to meet some of the locals before shooting. The welcoming and warm vibes of this community resonate across the ocean. The folks at Wrightsville Beach have become close friends and excellent photography models. Southern hospitality is real. 

 Surfer: Nicole Nason

Surfer: Nicole Nason

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Consistency is a fickle term around here. There is generally a little bump out on the water. I never thought I would get excited about seeing clean 1-2' swell on the forecast, and that’s a thing now.

 Surfer: Josh Neubauer

Surfer: Josh Neubauer

Hurricane Florence was the first storm I've experienced. The swell was firing just before mother nature showed us her true unforgiving power. 

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Get lost in more of Julian Summa’s ephemeral images on his website, adventureoriented.com , and on his Instagram page, @adventure.oriented.