"Tropical Cyclone Debbie passed over sometime in the night, it’s shifting vortex cranking the winds 40 knots offshore as day broke.

She had made landfall far north a few days earlier, trashing normally sleepy towns, flattening surgarcane crops and swelling rivers as she tracked towards South East Queensland. Most of us had stopped working, stocked up on beer and hot chips and battened down the hatches. The surf reports were unclear.

On that first morning I scouted around looking for either surfable waves or total ocean chaos, I would be happy with either. Thankfully there was a clean north-east swell pouring into our zone, the strong offshores were grooming sets constantly. The lack of cleanup sets meant that the swell height was perfect, not too big like a lot of cyclone swells are at their maximum. I’d been eyeing off an outer bank that only breaks properly a handful of times a year, and although I’d surfed it bigger in the past, I was psyched to get it again, nobody out as usual. I waxed up an 8 footer to combat the stiff winds.

The rivers swelled with rainwater from the hinterlands, turning the lineups chocolate brown and flooding several iconic towns. A novelty wave appeared inside the Tweed and ear infection remedies were exchanged. Ex-TC Debbie has made her way over to NZ, and the fading remnants of swell are still folding over on our busy pointbreaks as I write."

-Lawrie Von Hoff

For more of Lawrie's work among our other regular contributor's Chris Proud and Hamish Laing, visit xray machines

photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff
photo by Lawrence Von Hoff