Cyclone’s waves a gift
NORTH COAST surfers are looking forward to an early Christmas present this weekend, courtesy of tropical cyclone Evan.
Forecasters are expecting swell from Evan to deliver some perfect aquatic goodies each morning from tomorrow right into Christmas Eve on Monday.
While tropical cyclones cause destruction and chaos to those caught in their path, for surfers eyeing them from hundreds of kilometres away in the Coral Sea, they are a godsend.
Many legendary local points such as The Pass, Broken Head, and Kirra built their reputation for perfection in the cyclone rich summers of the 1970s thanks to footage in surf films such as Morning of The Earth.
Surfing folklore and legend has surrounded the cyclone season ever since. But over the past two years, surfers say it's been less than impressive.
"Last year they were calling it the endless bummer... we had a cyclonic east coast low on Christmas and Boxing Day which tore all the banks to pieces and they didn't recover until May," local surf watcher Ben Bennink said.
"Everyone gets wound up about cyclone season - being a surfer I love the idea of a good cyclone swell - but equally I worry about those poor buggers who are on an island somewhere getting hit by it... the damn thing's pretty brutal," said Bennink.
Long-time surfer Dave Heggie from local website Summerland NSW has been watching the ocean for more than 50 years.
"As a surfer probably the best waves I've ever had were during cyclones at The Pass... I've ridden waves all the way from the rock through to the Beach Hotel! It's really nice in the warm water too," Mr Heggie said.