A Hurricane Bertha Road Trip

posted by / Photos / August 7, 2014

Cory Lopez says goodbye to his family and hello to the road.

Cory Lopez says goodbye to his family and hello to the road.

It could be cliche, but have you tried one?

It could be cliche, but have you tried one?

Cory Lopez and Peter Mendia will drive through rain, hail, sleet and snow to get good waves. This time, though, it was only rain.

Cory Lopez and Peter Mendia will drive through rain, hail, sleet and snow to get good waves. This time, though, it was only rain.

Fun begins where vegetation ends.

Fun begins where vegetation ends.

Robbie McCormick and the first taste of Bertha.

Robbie McCormick and the first taste of Bertha.

There is nothing that says East Coast more than a foreground of sea oats. Balaram Stack.

There is nothing that says East Coast more than a foreground of sea oats. Balaram Stack.

Robbie McCormick is following in Cory Lopez’s footsteps, just not literally.

Robbie McCormick is following in Cory Lopez’s footsteps, just not literally.

If Cory Lopez had a dime for…

If Cory Lopez had a dime for…

Balaram Stack, inside sandbar on the Outer Banks.

Balaram Stack, inside sandbar on the Outer Banks.

Sea oats and sand spurs a plenty.

Sea oats and sand spurs a plenty.

Robbie McCormick and the little pier that couldn’t.

Robbie McCormick and the little pier that couldn’t.

Watch for driftwood, too. Cory Lopez.

Watch for driftwood, too. Cory Lopez.

Has anyone seen Benny Bourgeois? We have!

Has anyone seen Benny Bourgeois? We have! After living in California for a decade, Ben left the Golden State two years ago and hasn’t returned since. Swells like Bertha are why.

Peter Mendia dances in front of disaster.

Peter Mendia dances in front of disaster.

If you haven’t yet noticed, that pier got fucked up.

If you haven’t yet noticed, that pier got fucked up.

Nothing but blue skies for 13 year old Robbie McCormick. Tubes, too.

Nothing but blue skies for 13 year old Robbie McCormick. Tubes, too.

Peter Mendia and a lovely little hammer.

Peter Mendia and a lovely little hammer.

If this doesn’t look fun, then you are probably a dark, soulless bastard who should walk away from everyone you love and get a job peddling scams to old people in New York City’s financial district. Oh, and here’s Benny B.

If this doesn’t look fun, then you are probably a dark, soulless bastard who should walk away from everyone you love and get a job peddling scams to old people in New York City’s financial district. Oh, and here’s Benny B.

It takes 12 hours to drive from Daytona Beach to the Outer Banks. One session like this makes it all worth while.

It takes 12 hours to drive from Daytona Beach to the Outer Banks. One session like this makes it all worth while.

Cory Lopez, hashtag blessed.

Cory Lopez, hashtag blessed.

They came for the gold. They stayed for the chicken sandwiches.

They came for the gold. They stayed for the chicken sandwiches.


All Photos: Patrick Ruddy

I hate the word magical. It either sounds stupid (rabbits and hats) or cliche (first kiss!). But I’ll temporary lift my sanction on the word and say — without a tinge of sarcasm – that there is something magical about the East Coast this time of year. The ocean is so warm. The air is so crisp. The women are so almost-naked and easy to talk to. And to top it all off, there are hurricane swells.

Hurricane Bertha recently massaged the Eastern Seaboard with her goddess-like hands of swell. Cory Lopez, grom Robbie McCormick, Peter Mendia and photographer Patrick Ruddy drove from Florida to North Carolina to meet up with Balaram Stack, Benny Bourgeois and of course, Bertha. The first day was onshore with a pesky current, but offered a worthy barrel to those with the heart to paddle, paddle, paddle. The next morning was offshore and dreamy as Bertha’s swell dyed slowly but peacefully. And after indulging in that, the crew jumped right back in the car, right back on the I-95 and drove right back home — stopping, of course, at Chick-fil-A. From the looks of the photos, it was a great road trip. Some may even call it magical. —Brendan Buckley

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  • Vladamir Putin

    east coast, huh? where’s that, near ukraine? (they’re my boys)

  • bobby

    The waves were rank…..what a waste of time….they should have taken the gelesekook with them looks like his kind of wave..hell just bring all those kooks from nsb

  • gern blanston

    If you have to drive 12 hours for that…then Florida must really suck.

  • jason brinson

    I want to slap you people commenting. This day was awesome and I’m glad the boys made the trip and scored.