Lone Star Score
Often dubbed the "Third Coast" by surfers, the Gulf of Mexico doesn't get bombarded by an abundance of swell like the East and West Coasts, but thankfully, nobody has told surfers in Texas that. Places like Corpus Christi, Galveston and South Padre Island have a passionate wave-riding community, and when conditions do come together, like they did here at the Packery in Corpus Christi, the surf gets plenty good.
Former ASP World Tour surfer Cory Lopez grew up surfing on Florida's Gulf Coast and knows how fickle the waves can be. He also knows there's nothing better than scoring in local waters. With a hurricane swell pushing and the winds cooperating, Lopez made the trip to South Padre Island and was rewarded with rip-able conditions.
Bob Hall Pier
Every dog has his day, and Texas surfers live for days like this one at Bob Hall Pier in Corpus Christi. "Pray for north winds," cackles photographer Jon Steele.
Bob Hall Pier
And while the hurricane surf is usually well received, there is the issue of getting out when it's pumping and the swell interval is tight. Applying the classic pier jump technique, this South Padre posse knows better than to try and make it out from shore.
Did somebody say, "Tanker ships generate large waves?" For creative Texas Gulf surfers, necessity has forced them to resort to man-made swell. By tracking massive oil tankers and the shoals their wakes break along, the pursuit has become a way to have fun and beat the flatness.
Corpus Christi's version of a Waikiki roller. Spreading aloha in the Lone Star State, the Duke (Kahanamkou, not John Wayne) would be proud.
Bird's Eye View
You ever feel like you're being watched? Local fowl, keeping an eye on a playful wind-swell day at Bob Hall Pier.
For local salts like Don Murphy, when the wind sits down and the gentle wind-borne swell rolls in, there's no better place to be than Texas.
Because the surf doesn't get that big that often, when hurricanes do stir up the Gulf and push waves South Padre's way, it's a sight to behold. That said, it can also be extremely dangerous and destructive and should be approached with the utmost caution.
Surf is where you find it, and product of his environment, Morgan Faulkner, is as savvy as a honey badger. Talented on both a short and longboard, when the ocean goes flat he looks up the tanker schedule and gets busy. Here, at an undisclosed jetty.
Where else can you cheat five (a noseriding move) and reel in such an impressive catch? California traveler Christian Wach, scoring.
South Padre Island
While the summer months don't bring much surf, they do bring out the beach crowds. "From June onward there's not a lot of swell in the gulf, unless a hurricane forms, then it's on!" says Steele.
These colors don't run, but they can cross-step. One of the more graceful ladies to ride a plank, Daize Goodwin enjoys a patriotic day of tanker surfing.
Now that's a wrap. Lopez, on rail and on point in the great state of Texas.