Puerto Rican Redemption
This was a different kind of winter for the Caribbean. Normally, the parade of strong low-pressure systems rolling off the East Coast mean these islands would light up with swell. But this year, storms directed all of their energy at Europe, leaving a lackluster season for the blue water warriors. That all changed at the end of March, when the Atlantic's final blow of the winter landed directly on Puerto Rico's shores. Here, the infamous Tres Palmas does its thing.
Puerto Rico's Otto Flores was pretty antsy for this swell. He had to remind himself to drag his body to slow down for the good ones.
Fortunately, Florida native-turned-Puerto Rico surfer, Amy Murphree is big on yoga. That kept her loose all winter for the paddle out when this swell came up.
How good was it? Well, it was good enough that Hawaiian power surfer Dusty Payne decided to make the trip out.
For the past 10 years, Dylan Graves has been scouring the globe, chasing pits and ASP qualification points. Sometimes when you stay put, you get the deepest connection.
On these days, the place really lives up to its name, "La Isla Encanto."
The Engstrom family has been doing winters in Puerto Rico since the '90s. Engstom is now 22, which means this was the slowest winter for waves since she and her sister Alexis were a pre-teens, paddling out behind their mother. But she was certainly in the right place for this chunk of ocean.
Just Be Cool
Look at this guy trying to play it cool. As if he's not stoked out of his mind about this one amazing swell before the season ends.
Dylan Graves' brother, Josie, stayed active all winter, enjoying the minor pulse that hit before the bomber swell.
Don't let that warm, green water fool you. That's a left of consequence right there.
The thing about a wave like this at Tres is that making the drop, the bottom turn and two arcs across the face will take you 200 yards.
Puerto Rico is known for those translucent blue-green waves. You know that's a seriously dirty tube with all that sand in it. Sahid Perez sits in just the right spot.
Darren Muschett's roots run deep in Puerto Rico. About as deep as this keg.
There isn't a surfer from Mayaguez to Isabella who doesn't smile at a shot of a bodyboarder getting a little backwash.
Eventually, after days and days of pumping surf, the swell let up, leaving rashes, great footage and amazing stories. Pictured, the day closes on Rincon, Puerto Rico.