When we say Australia's east coast has just seen one of the best run of swells in recent memory – we're not joking around. It's been days upon days upon days of epic surf – and while that sounds like a bit of a cliché, there really isn't another moniker that should or could be used.
In fact it's been so good, that locals are dubbing this the 'Great Week', and we can't blame them. Though the swell's easing off now, our inbox has been blasted with hundreds of images, which we've been storing up to roll out in one fell swoop. What you see throughout below is just that... and at least one photographer claims it's the greatest month in Gold Coast surfing history. A wild shout but one that makes us think, 'huh, maybe!'
Spot guide: Sydney
As Aaron Pierce aka (@liquidstorm) puts it. “When I look at my hard drive for the last nine years I've shot on the Gold Coast, I've never had as many days in a month that I've photographed surfing, this May was bonkers good from start to finish,” he tells MSW.
“Two sessions for me stand out out, Burleigh on the 29th was producing epic surf all day, well over head and pumping and after that session a lot were surfed out. The other session was magic Tuesday morning the 25th at Kirra, not the usual 100 plus crowd out first thing as apparently everyone was waiting for the arvo low tide, big mistake as big open barrels were being unleashed on the groomed banks.
“For around two hours that morning it was as perfect as you could get it, after about an hour of this word must've got out and the masses arrived with all scrambling to get out there. Occy was on fire getting deep barrels, bottom turns and hitting the lip with his legendary backhand hack, something special to watch and a honour to shoot, stand out of the morning for me.
“I'm stoked to the eyeballs for what I've witnessed in May and couldn't give a stuff if June is f******. The shots I've taken, stories I've got, people I've meet and seen smiling all month will keep me smiling for months. May will go down in history as one of the greatest months of surf on the Gold Coast.”
"Around Friday May 28, a smallish area of low pressure formed just west of New Zealand. This, together with a large high situated over southeast Australia, started to form a passage of southerly winds in the Tasman Sea," says MSW forecaster Tony Butt about this run of swell. "Over the following few days, the low intensified, expanded and moved only very slowly eastwards, while the high persisted."
"The band of southerly winds continued, pumping out pulses of swell towards the east coast of Australia, lasting several days before finally dropping on Thursday June 3. As the windfield moved east, the swell arriving on the coast gradually swung from south to south-southeast, with local wave heights hitting six feet at or so at exposed spots."
All captions by Nick Carroll