Photo courtesy of After The Storm and www.chrisbickford.com.
Some answers with Battle of the Banks NC captain, Noah Snyder
Loudmouths. Outsiders. Invaders. During the average Outer Banks session, you’ll hear any number of slurs for Virginia Beach surfers. (And an equal number of “hillbilly” retorts in return.) But, after last Wednesday, Team NC had only one name for Team VB — “winners” — as Virginia took the second straight WRV Battle of the Banks. So why is NC’s Noah Snyder not spitting bile? Could it be because he still won the top individual prizes — the final and “Best Barrel” — for a total of $1500? Or might it be something even crazier? A once dirty word finding purchase between the crews: “respect.”
SURFINGMAGAZINE: Last year, Jesse Hines won “best tube,” Pat McManus won the final, and VB won team. This year you won both big prizes and VB won team. Are we seeing a pattern?
NOAH SNYDER: I hope not. [laughs] But last year, they beat us by 70-some points — instead of a heart-breaking 7 points. And last year the waves were burly. Being smaller and more in control, turns came into play this time. Last year you didn’t think about doing a turn.
Did you feel like the teams were pretty evenly matched?
I do. We had Jeff Myers, Drew Meredith and myself for the final; they had Lucas Rogers, Brad Harrell and Ian Parnell. Two regulars and a goofy on both sides. All good surfers. It pretty much came down to who got the waves. But I will say Outer Banks surfers have a hard time with the idea of “just getting the score.” I tried to impress upon them to barrel hunt the first half, then back it up. But our guys are more “go for broke, go on anything.” And it’s a tough habit to break — especially when there’s bombs coming in.
Word was your teammate, Chris McDonald had the Best Barrel before the final. Do you feel guilty taking that $1000 from such a nice young man?
Yes and no. Basically, Brad [Harrell] kicked it off for VB with a 10. Then, Chris got a 10 for us. And then I got a 10 in the last five minutes of the final. So it was one of those things where Brad had it, Chris upped him, and then I upped Chris. But that wasn’t my focus. I just knew our team had to take first, second third in the final to pull this thing off — which we obviously didn’t.
Do you think having Jesse would’ve helped? How bummed was he be out of the comp with a broken leg?
He was definitely bummed. Jesse’s one of the best surfers to come out of the Outer Banks. You definitely can’t replace him. We call him Jesse Lopez. But this year we had Brett Barley, who we didn’t have last year, so that was a plus. And we had some other guys that had their opportunities.
Two years in, what’s the Battle done for the VB/Outer Banks rivalry?
There actually seems to be a deeper respect on both sides. We recognize that VB guys are good surfers. And they recognize there’s a group of Outer Banks guys who can hold their own. You know, back in Wes Laine’s days, it was pretty much VB and a few guys from Florida who ruled the S-Turns stretch on the epic days. And now we’ve got a much stronger local contingent — our posse, the Hatteras posse, the Rodanthe posse. So instead of one or two elements, there’s more like four. And I actually think this contest has brought all us together. You see everyone out of the water, you can have a conversation. It’s more brotherly than anything.
Does this mean next year’s gonna be like one big group hug?
I doubt it. VB’s won the team part two years in a row – but they’ve yet to win best barrel or the final itself. So they’ve got something to shoot for. And of course, for us, we want the title. Plus we’re all too competitive — Ian sent me a text Wednesday night, saying “Get ready.”
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