Throw Down North of Town!

*beep beep* *beep beep *beep beep* It was 5:30 AM on Saturday, October 8th. My overly tired body slowly wormed it’s way out of bed. “No man should have to deal with this little amount of sleep.” I thought to myself. I had gotten three hours of sleep on Thursday night, and Friday evening’s plans included an Admirals hockey game, and a little post-game raging which resulted in me getting two hours of sleep that night. I threw some clothes on, gathered my camera gear, and headed downstairs to wake up Twelvie Stout who was in, what looked like, a fantastic slumber. Wiping the sleep from his eyes we begin to pack up the wagon for our Outer Banks Venture.

What could we possibly be doing in the Outer Banks so early on a Saturday morning? The plan was to meet up with the likes of Ronnie Dodson, John Streit, Shaun Devine, and Jared Jennings. There was a surf competition in the Southern Shores known as the Throwdown North of Town. Guaranteed to be a good time, and since I hadn’t shot any surfing in a minute, I jumped at the opportunity.

After a two hour drive, we scoop up Ronnie, grab some coffee, and head to the shore. It’s stunning. Bright beautiful day, slightly chilly, a nice breeze, not a cloud in the sky… But something is wrong… The surf is less than stellar. It’s kind of choppy, inconsistent, small, but still some rideable waves. The general consensus is that no one would have paddled out in this if it weren’t for the competition. Oh well! It’s still a killer day to spend at the beach!

The next six or so hours were filled with frustration, surprise, beer, napping, and free food. John Streit, Shaun Devine, and Jared Jennings all made it to their respective final heats, unfortunately none of them placed. There really isn’t too much to say about the competition… As I stated, the waves sucked. The most people could do was just a strong cutback here and there. Maybe an attempted air. All of us kept hoping the conditions would improve over the course of the day, alas, that was simply not the case. I shot my ass off regardless, as well as drank some beer, took a twenty minute nap and indulged in the free food that was being given away.

I have to say, though, I love the surfer culture. There is a place for absolutely everyone, young and old, blue or white collars, whatever your background… It just doesn’t matter. Everyone comes together with a positive attitude to enjoy the wondrous gifts that Mother Nature has provided. Not saying that this is a utopian culture, and that there are no conflicts, but for the most part, I have to say it is a resounding positive environment.

After all the awards had been presented to the winners, we departed the sunny sands of the Southern Shores. We headed to John’s house in Kill Devil Hills to plan out our evening. The first order of business was to kill the beer we had left over from the competition. Well, that didn’t last long. Alright, let’s gather some fire wood for a bonfire! Hmmph… Not really that much wood around that would be good for a fire… Whelp! Now what?

Hunger took over – so where do we go? John suggests this restaurant named The Chili Pepper, and what a fantastic choice it was. Our seating is mafia-esque, that or reminiscent of the Last Supper. We hang out in a recessed part of the building, at an elongated table where no ones back was to the rest of the restaurant. The Virginia Tech game was on, and every once in a while the patrons would cheer in an exuberant manner. We drank some beers, ate some delightfully delectable appetizers and entrees until we could no longer force another morsel into our pie holes, and it was back to the house we go!

Alright, so we didn’t head right back to the house, we needed to make a couple stops first. Of course, we had to get some more beer. What? Did you think it would be a dry night? No, no, no. Twelvie had a hankering for some Fireball whiskey, so the ABC store was next on the list. But what do we do about the lack of firewood? Hmmm… Oh, look at that, some pallets just appeared in the back of my car! I don’t know who had a magic lamp and used one of their wishes, but thank you! Now we can head back.

Once we get back to the house, it was time to get this fire underway. Most of us were still sluggish from dinner, but Twelvie and Ronnie hopped right on breaking up some wood. The rest of us kind of just sat around, drank some beer, and I walked around snapping some photos. Ronnie ended up getting a pretty gnarly splinter… If you could even call it that. It was more like Ronnie was straight impaled through his hand. Twelvie tried to yank it out by his own hands, but that only caused more pain. Ronnie decided it was time to just snag it with his teeth, and yank as hard as he possibly could. This ended up working out really well. Ronnie is a monster, and we’ll keep it at that.

The night dragged on, as the itis and over all exhaustion from the day started to settle in. We kicked back a couple more beers before deciding to call it an early night around 10PM. Man, we sure are party animals. Screw that, I was tired, and sleep was a more than welcomed change. Overall, the trip was great. I was able to hang out with gnarly dudes, hang out on the beach all day, then spend the night around a bonfire. What more could one really ask for?

So, I’d like to, once again, give a big “thank you!” to John Streit for your hospitality.


~ by Tom Barbee Photography on October 11, 2011.

6 Responses to “Throw Down North of Town!”

  1. Great photos here. And I love them in black and white. Perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Another swell job with photos 🙂

  3. Nice! But some of your photos aren’t showing up

  4. lovley. some impalement and the priceless reaction of his face you seized.

  5. I like the serie in the water!

  6. […] All-and-all, the dudes had a blast making new friends on the Outer Banks, catching up with old ones and trading waves on this beautiful day. Enjoy the photography by our friend Tom Barbee (check out Tom’s take on the day at his blog […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: