Surfers stoked for storm waves - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Surfers stoked for storm waves

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By Stefanie Bainum

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's an endless summer and surfers' paradise as bigger waves smash into the coast with Hurricane Irene churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

"At first everyone was worried because they had it targeted coming right towards us and no one wants it to hit, but it looks like its moving offshore a little bit and it's great. All the surfers are really happy because it pumps great surf right to us," said surfer Harry Gilmore on Folly Beach.

That's great surf, for a beach that doesn't see much height.

"You might find no waves on some days," said Gilmore. "Ankle high is normal around here this time of year, but when the hurricane comes through it picks up a lot and you can definitely see a difference at the beach when the waves get big here."

ABC News 4 Chief Meteorologist Tom Crawford predicts waves are will get up to 5 to 7 feet starting Friday afternoon until Saturday. And with bigger waves, comes bigger crowds

"Once the peak comes and it's really big it will get crowded out here and I recommend you not come to this spot unless you really knew what you were doing," said Gilmore. "It gets kinda crazy out here."

Serious surfers say those with less experience should stay away from the Washout this weekend. Washout is an area on Folly Beach that is known as the best surf spot in town. 

Larger waves bring with them increased dangers, like overcrowding, rocks, and rip currents.

"They're going to end up hurting themselves and us when the waves are this big," said surfer Ricky Miller.

"You need to be aware of what's going on around you when it's big and dangerous like that," Gilmore said. "Paying more attention to details and being more alert at all times."

But they'll tell you all the dangers are worth it -- to catch a great ride.

"We wait for this all year long. Basically, it's the only thing we have to look forward to, hurricane season," Miller said.

Surfers say that as many as 300 to 500 surfers could be out this weekend at the Washout.


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