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Topic Title: Tybee Island
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Created On: 10/05/2017 03:06 PM
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 10/05/2017 03:06 PM
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NPI13Productions

Posts: 747
Joined: 09/04/2011

Had a shoot in Savannah the last two days so Corey and myself brought boards after hearing about waves on Tybee. Surfed for about an hour right before dark as high tide was about to peak. Crazy windy but there were a few insane head high slabs coming through on the south side of the pier.

It was actually a really sick setup and got us wondering what happens when the conditions come together. Anyone scored out there?



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 10/05/2017 03:57 PM
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1cheech

Posts: 4
Joined: 07/22/2014

I went to school at Savannah College of Art and Design and surfed Tybee regularly for about 3yrs. Lets just say the conditions dont come together very often...scored a handful of good days in that time (most of those days it was REALLY good in FL), but by good days I mean chest high and clean so nothing epic. As a general rule it seems to always be half the size of florida. That being said its a pretty fun wave even when when small or choppy cause is breaks close to shore, its dumpy and breaks shallow. Most of the time it was in the waist high range or chest-head high and real choppy.

Enjoy your videos NPI13, keep up the good work!

 10/05/2017 05:24 PM
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MikeNeptune

Posts: 109
Joined: 07/31/2017

I’ve surfed it more times than I can count. Before I understood meteorology I got skunked a lot (pre-internet days). Once I understood how it worked I could catch the swells, but rarely does it get good.  

My best time was actually two times.  

The first was Hurricane Bertha. I have no idea when that was (90s). The governor (I think Zell Miller then) was about to reverse the eastbound lanes of I-16 and I was about an hour from Savannah. I made it to the island just in time.  

Bertha was spinning about 150 miles off the coast and just parked. I figured it would be victory at sea. But when I got to the pier it was head high and not a breath of wind.  Dead calm.  Plus it was glassy. To top it off, the water was a rare blue, about the color of Brevard’s water. Normally the water on Tybee Island is a color I call baby green diarrhea.  

I paddled out, caught a left on the south side of the pier, and pulled into a head high closeout barrel and got worked. I was stoked on that wipeout.  It felt good because I finally had some decent surf. 

I had 2.5 hours of great surf. So much fun. Then it got smaller and smaller. A big lull came and I sat for close to a half hour waiting for a wave. I flinched as my foot touched something. That something was the sand. I realized after sitting for twenty minutes that I was about ten yards from the beach and the machine had shut off 100%. The tide had dropped. It was over.

Not even a tsunami can breach the continental shelf at low tide on Tybee. Lake flat no matter what.  I hate that damn shelf  

 

The second time I had a good session was accidental.  My wife and I (before kids) paddled kayaks across the inlet to Little Tybee Island (which is, ironically, larger than Tybee) for some primitive camping.  It’s free, fun, private, and remarkably beautiful.  I towed a board behind my kayak just in case.  

On our third day I used the binoculars to look back toward Tybee and thought I saw waves. My wife and I paddled over and, to my surprise, it was glassy, waist high, and peeling rights and lefts. I got a two-hour peak all to myself and had some of the most fun small waves outside of California. There is actually a photo of me in Surfer Magazine from that day that my wife took.  It was this annual edition in which they literally published every single photo sent to them.  I wish I still had a copy.  I’m going right on a two-foot wave with a Forest Gump haircut and a Forest Gump smile while looking at the camera.

But Tybee is, without a doubt, the worst damn place in the entire Atlantic Ocean to get surf.  it’s an absolute pain living in Georgia.  But the thing is, if you ask out a hundred women at the bar, you’re probably going to get a couple who say yes.  

Head to Tybee a hundred times, like I did, and you’ll get two or three good days, five or six fun days, and 92 total crap days   

 



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See y’all next summer. 



Edited: 10/05/2017 at 05:31 PM by MikeNeptune
 10/05/2017 06:12 PM
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RobdaSlob

Posts: 216
Joined: 07/24/2003

I've lived up in the Savannah area for the past 10+ years.  I would rather drive to Jacksonville on any given day then surf Tybee.  

The continental shelf extends so far out that it dampens any swell.  The shape of the coast further narrows the swell window. 

I have caught north side of the island on a couple good days.  It can break nearly like a point break - not a bad right, just small.  It breaks really nice maybe 6 times a year and only on certain tides.  And then typically around 3 feet.

The pier is OK, about 100 yards or so south is a nice break.  Further south at the end of the island can be ridable.  Again it is not consistant and a 3 foot swell would be a great day. 1 foot more typically - even with my 10' 7" it is hard to find something ridable.  

Head high....the water off Tybee is only about six feet deep, head high is about all it can hold.

In some stupid effort to either sign the beach or stop errosion there are any number of posts in the water, particualrly on the north side creating a hazard.  

Parking is limited and strictly enforced.  There are few if any public facilities.

Oh and to round things out there are still plenty of papermills and chemical plants along the savannah and God knows what they pump into the water that ends up on the beach.

What Tybee does have is lots of wind.  If you kite surf it is a great place to be.



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Even a blind hog finds an occasional acorn
 10/06/2017 07:07 AM
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tertle

Posts: 44
Joined: 07/23/2003

i went to scad as well. i scored some really good surf there but it's so tide dependent. the only time you're gonna score surf no matter what the tide is doing is either a hurricane or a strong low pressure system. best time to hit it is a couple hours before high tide and when it's on the way out. on average the tide swing is about 7-8'. parking was a PITA back then can't imagine what it's like now. a draw back about tybee is it has the only beach access in the area and it can get crowded quick especially since tybee's shoreline is so short. i heard stories about guys taking boat rides and getting some waves (occasionally) on the south side of tybee creek, i could be wrong since that was back in 98 . either way i had fun and you can't go wrong taking a step back in time there.

Edited: 10/06/2017 at 07:49 AM by tertle
 10/06/2017 12:23 PM
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mdsurf

Posts: 416
Joined: 09/27/2009

Originally posted by: MikeNeptune  

 

But Tybee is, without a doubt, the worst damn place in the entire Atlantic Ocean to get surf.  it’s an absolute pain living in Georgia.  But the thing is, if you ask out a hundred women at the bar, you’re probably going to get a couple who say yes.  

 

Head to Tybee a hundred times, like I did, and you’ll get two or three good days, five or six fun days, and 92 total crap days   

 

 

 

I would say you are incorrect on your figures.  While living in Savannah I found 80 out of 100 women would say yes and 1 out of 100 days there was surf.

I lived there for 7 years.  Surf was always better is Jax.  The only time I got to say "it's going to be sunny and overhead tomorrow" is when I was on a plane to costa rica.

 10/06/2017 07:25 PM
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BillyG60

Posts: 384
Joined: 01/19/2004

Ga surf, Born Raised and stayed till 2003 in St Simons Island. we drove to Fernandina and Jax a lot..usually half the size as Fla ---I do miss some of the secret not so secret State Parks up in North Fla from time to time. we also use to got Blackbeards and St catherines by boat for swell but had to time it right. I did see a recent vid online of Blackbeards Isl and Cabretta Inlet after Irma from a drone it looks like it has changed for the better. Very tide dependent because of that cont shelf thing...SE GA got wrecked by storm surge from Irma. Now, back to my hole.... Ps you make some dam good vids I am subscribed!!
 10/07/2017 06:12 AM
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AndreaCaloiaro

Posts: 12
Joined: 03/28/2014

I love reading wave hunting stories, and Mike Neptune's has got the stuff. 

 10/08/2017 09:30 AM
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harrietdubman

Posts: 138
Joined: 11/07/2015

tanker waves )



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