a freelance journal

An overdue straightening of the record…

In the spirit of the holiday, I’m going to give back to two people who deserve it.  The first is to my brother, Ryan Tolhurst.

Just before the bottom dropped out of the mercury here at the north end, there was a session which ranks right up there for the “best-ever” list.  While the surf was solid- it has been better, yet never with fewer people-it was only Ryan and I which placed it firmly in the ol’ memory banks.  To add to our incredulous enjoyment of the North End doing it’s thing with the nonexistent crowd, our youngest brother was on shore documenting (looking forward to you healing the wrist and getting back in the water soon Chris).  What arose from the two sessions (we had a go the previous evening) was a nice selection of photos featured in this post before the cold offshore wind drove our photog back to the warmth and shelter of the truck.  As I dumped the shots from camera to laptop, the order got mixed, editing was done, and the identity of the surfer in one great photo which really showed the conditions was obscured.  I ran the photo anyway with a caption reading, “Ryan/Andy Tolhurst? Enough cover it’s hard to tell. Either a single fin egg or a swallow-tail quad? Give your pick. Yes, we made it. Photo: Chris Tolhurst”.

Well, after much deliberation and sadness (heck yea I wanted it to be yours truly), the order of the shots has been re-established and the identity of the surfer can now be made public.  It was Ryan on a single fin egg and, yes, he made it.  Merry freakin’ Christmas bro.  Check out the following two photos to see his set-up (which confirmed the identity) and the photo in question (with new caption).  Then scroll on down for someone else who will get theirs for Christmas.

Ryan Tolhurst. Setting up in the shade before there is any. Photo: Chris Tolhurst

Ryan Tolhurst on a single fin egg. Yes, he made it. Photo: Chris Tolhurst

The second person who is overdue here at “the notes” would be Andy Carter.  Now, if you have been in any heavy conditions along the right coast then chances are you have surfed next to Andy or watched from shore.  He’s hard to miss, both for his skill as well as size (he’s taller than the average pro-midget, think Todd Chesser for those that know their history).  Three years ago the North End saw some of its best conditions all align under the stars.  A new sandbar courtesy of recent dredging, perfect swell direction and period, and a light, gentle wind.  Before ditching the camera for the board, “the notes” was able to snap some great shots in the afternoon light.  One of which was Andy Carter doing his thing.  It got a spot in SurfCarolina Magazine, Local Sessions and here at The Notes. So, what else is necessary? Well, the rest of the story.  Andy spots his shot and emails for a copy.  I sent him the original-free of charge-because it’s his and why not?  Merry Christmas.

Andy Carter. North End, CB. Photo: A. Tolhurst

And the pay back?  Well…There was another recent swell which sent most of us in town to the one sure-bet on a northeast swell.  Of course, there is Andy. And, of course, he’s doing his thing.  He even lands a nice shot in a Easternsurf.com photo feature from the same session.  He also drops in hard on yours truly on one of the signature lefts at the spot.  Blatent.  As in, he looked right over his shoulder, cruising along, arched and ready to go, sees “the notes” coming from just under the peak in his direction, ready to drag ass for a nice backside cover and…yup, he stepped all over it.  So, despite promises to the contrary, “the notes” is now offering a Christmas photo pay back by including the next picture in the series.  The North End takes time to make a wave like Ryan’s.  Plenty of challengers, but the result-like Andy’s wave above-is usually as follows…


Andy Carter. No, he didn't make it. Photo: A. Tolhurst



Drop in’s can come back to bite ya.  Be kind this holiday.  All kidding aside, Andy Carter is a good guy, makes way more than he misses and it should be mentioned that on the same session as the “drop-in” he did hoot a right barrel for “the notes”.  So that should about square things up.  Check out the gallery below as a Christmas gift for the rest of you voyeurs and have a great holiday where ever you are.


6 responses

  1. Ropy Jets

    Andy, nice post, Chris, nice pics, Ryan, well the pics kind of do the talking. Holy bananas that looks fun. I hope you guys never forget how lucky you are. Here’s to the Brother’s Tolhurst. I will remain landlocked and jealous for the holidays. Miss you guys.


    December 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    • Mac, thanks. We need more of you around. Let’s get it together for a Banks run. I take a couple a year. Meet us there. We need that no fear, charging style of yours. Merry Christmas

      December 23, 2010 at 10:38 am

  2. devoray

    That was awesome story an pics my friend.I’m almost jealous but nah too cold.fully enjoyed it. Miss u guys. Say hi to ryan for me and ur lovely wife amy and family. Aloha my brother. A hui ho an mele kalikimaka

    December 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    • Miss you too my brother. Hope all is well out there in the islands and that you are doing good. I will pass on your kind wishes to the family. And…feliz Navidad a tu amigo.

      December 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

  3. ah, the life of a photoblogger. you get the great shots of others and only get to tell the tales of your own. i understand. holler at me when it’s on and i’ll come down and get some of you. merry xmas.

    December 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    • Thanks Danny. May just take you up on that…got a little project I’m starting on in all my free time.

      December 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

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