Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Updated: June 15, 11:44 AM ET
The Best of the Banks


When you get south of town, it's basically one road so you can't get lost — unless you want to.
The Outer Banks has to be one of the best places on the East Coast to be a photographer. So what if they just got cable internet a few years ago and you have to hunker down for a hurricane lashing?

It's a tough place to live, especially for a single guy. After September, there are vitually no ladies around. And if you're able to drag one back to your man cave, she's then two hours from the closest Target.

I've been lucky enough to know and work with photographer Mickey '2M' McCarthy for several years.

"What attracted me as a surfer and photographer to the Outer Banks some 29 years ago, was the power and consistency of the surf — the natural beauty,the no man's land of Pea Island , the wildlife and the sunsets. It's one of the unique places on the East coast that you can actually see the sun set over the water! I'm also kind of a weather geek,so you really get to see it all on this stretch of glorified sandbar."

Barrels are as much a part Outer Banks life as fishing and hush puppies.

For some awe-inspiring and hair-raising images of the Outer Banks, check the Gallery here.

McCarthy has told me tales of some super sessions down at the infamous Hatteras Lighthouse. He claims in the 70s and 80s, it was the best break on the East Coast.

"This was when all three jetties were solid and were very shallow, especially the third.Greg Loehr, Wes Laine, Pete Dooley, Scott Busby, Ray Gray, Russell Blackwood, and Kevin McCabe were all solid fixtures during many historic swells that hit the Lighthouse," he explains, "S-Turns was virtually unknown at the time."

Some place.