All Quiet on the Northern Shore

A fresh instalment from veteran North Shore surf photographer Sean Davey. This week's themes include sparse lineups, severe flooding and Black Friday barrels.

Well, we had enormous day at the Pipe, fittingly on Black Friday. For those of you not familiar with this term, it's the day after Thanksgiving when all the shops offer massive discounts on their mercy, to get people to come in. The swell dropped back the next day but did hang in the medium range, so that they could at least get the Sunset contest finished. Only negative was that the clouds got darker and darker to the point of where it just poured torrentially for the whole final day of the event. It still hasn't come good yet. The thick cloud layer persists.

Something that has become very noticeable this year is the general lack of surfers and photographers from out of town. Seems like the surf cos are keeping their surfers here just for the events and sending them on their way. Photographer numbers have crashed. Sean Davey

Surf is currently in the 2-4 foot range. Seems to vary quite a bit without the tides at the moment. Something that has become very noticeable this year is the general lack of surfers and photographers from out of town. Seems like the surf companies are keeping their surfers here just for the events, then sending them on their way. Photographer numbers have crashed. Typically in the past, you'd seen a few dozen familiar pro photogs from all over the world. This year, I've counted just a couple so far. I have noticed more low key shooters with smaller lenses, but very, very few pro shooters this year.

The rain that came down on the Sunset finals day flooded out swathes of the North Shore. Waimea Valley backed up with so much water that the river ran off the beach, creating head high waves that were ripped apart by surfers like Jamie O'Brien, who always seems to be on it when the river wave happens. The road between Turtle Bay and the North Shore was flooded over at times too. Probably the last time it rained this much was back in 2006, when it rained for 40 days and nights, 'cept this time, it all came down in just a couple of days.

The coming days look packed full of swell, and with the Pipe Masters fast approaching, things are set to heat up.

Words and photos, Sean Davey