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If you were greeted with this then you would thank the gods of physics and location and not a word would be spoken as you struggled into your gear as fast as possible.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Super Typhoon Neoguri sending a pulse of swell towards Taiwan before heading north to Japan.
Local surfer Gugu.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
The surfer pictured here is Vince. Travelling with SurfingTaiwan, he was able to get to some of the island's better waves during the run of swell© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Vince and the happy place.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Gugu paddling out for his third session as Vince sets his line.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
This wave is looks deceptively perfect from the beach. From the water you see its true colors as barrels flare over knee deep coral heads.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Taiwan offers a wide variety of waves and no shortage of barrels© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Over and over© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Darker skies sent from the typhoon loom over this right hander© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
It's always hard to judge the size of surf with no surfers in the line up, but also from above. Reports say that this East coast break was over 20 foot but with no surfers prepared to take her on.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Even during the biggest swells of the year, Taiwan has waves to cater for everyone© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
One of the more sheltered waves of the island© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Empty setups are so much the norm in Taiwan that these passers by aren't interested by an uncrowded A frame rivermouth.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Surfer and shaper Keith, showing where his loyalties lie.© 2014 Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
Over the past week Japan received a pounding from Super Typhoon Neoguri and only a few brave souls attempted the peak of the swell in an Okinawa corner. Taiwan, however, sitting south east of the typhoon’s path hoovered-up the solid lines of groundswell generated by this system.
Off the coast of Japan and close to the centre of the typhoon the raw offshore data forecasts were showing an amazing 17.4m at midnight on July 10. That’s 57ft of average sea height with an accompanying 100 kts of wind – making Neoguri the first Super Typhoon of the year. This isn’t some abstract label attached to a really big storm, rather a typhoon which the JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) records as possessing average wind speed exceeding 100 kts (115 mph) over a 10 minute average.
Out of the direct line of destruction for the typhoon Taiwan saw light winds, fair weather and doubly stoked surfers as the swell from this system ran parallel to the island, providing waves on both coasts. The only dilemma was: where the hell do you surf amidst the plethora of uncrowded Taiwanese points?
Many users may be more familiar with hurricanes in the Atlantic than typhoons in the Pacific, which are often comparatively conservative in their frequency and scale. If there is Cat 3 blowing in the Atlantic you will know as the newswire will be trembling. Out in the Pacific they are a fact of life, and when the season gets going they roll through almost every week. Unsurprisingly there’s another storm system set for next week this time directed towards Taiwan.
“The latest data shows that this next one will be a direct hit on Taiwan.” Explains MSW forecasters Francisco Silva. “This new storm is set to arrive in about a week’s time and it’s still a bit too far in the future to get any real conclusions of its final track, so our advice is to keep checking the chart.”
All images: Joel Agostino / SurfingTaiwan.com
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