Brad Conley heads out for a fall surf in Homer, Alaska.

Finally! After several months without a single surf session, I woke this morning to a strong west wind that put some messy, but precious, swells on the beach in my hometown. The weather patterns in the summer here prevent waves from building where we need them, so despite the allure of surfing when the air is above freezing we rarely get the chance in my hometown. Come fall, the weather patterns change and out come the surfboards.

The photo above is actually from a couple years ago. Move the snow line up the mountains a thousand feet and that’s what it was like at the surf break today.  I can’t show you exactly because I left the camera in the car. The waves weren’t particularly photogenic and the potential images are not nearly as exciting as the mid-winter shots. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is still stunning with 4,000ft mountains rising out of the ocean and fresh snow on their peaks. But, I have to work this balance between surfing and photographing. When the waves are poor and the weather not extreme I figure surfing has a bigger reward than taking some mediocre photos.

If you want the real winter surfing see this post and photos of winter surfing in Alaska. Or you can go straight to an online gallery of Alaska surf photos.

UPDATE 11/27/08:  I’ve launched a little hobby blog for sharing more session reports, location info, photos and stories about surfing in Alaska. Check it out here –  www.SurfAlaska.net