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My Session: Peyton Willard’s Ponce Inlet Tropical Storm Arthur Gallery

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Story, Photos and Captions By Peyton Willard, Presented By Wave Riding Vehicles https://www.waveridingvehicles.com

Where:  Ponce Inlet, Florida 

When: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Why: Tropical Storm Aurthur swell 

 Air & Water temps: The water was 78F and the air was 91F

Swell intel: The swell was 3.1ft @ 13 seconds from the ENE.  Sets were easily 6-8ft faces

 Wind direction:  West all morning until 1pm 

Photographers rating: Solid 10!  Best surfing and waves I have photographed in Florida.

This is one of the first shots I took. It is Cory Lopez back-dooring a perfect Tropical Storm Arthur A frame that rolled through second peak. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

I was planning on coming to shoot New Smyrna Beach on Friday (The largest day of swell) but then I saw Jeremy Johnston post a shot from New Smyrna on Wednesday and I gave it a thought and decided to go down to New Smyrna Beach on Thursday. I got to New Smyrna just before sunrise and watched it.

Michael Dunphy going vertical for a front side snap.photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

This shot is of Cory Lopez. The night before I went to Ponce, I met and talked to former ESM and Surfing Mag photo editor Jimmy Wilson and he said to make it as a professional surf photographer, you have to separate yourself from all other photographers. I took this to heart and I walked up the walkway to the parking lot and snapped this shot. Photo: Peyton Willard

It was disorganized but huge.  After 10 minutes of watching it, Michael Dunphy called me and said Ponce is the move today so I drove to his house and rode to Ponce with him.  We got there around 7:30am and I ran out to go look at it and it was mental!!

An up the beach early morning beauty. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

First peak was A Framing and second and third peak were just long rights that were barreling but also had some steep sections.  It was the best surf I have ever seen in Florida.  There were roughly 100 surfers out but they were spread out since there were waves for ¼ mile past the jetty. 

Coronavirus congestion. Arthur certainly all Florida surfers out of the woodwork bleary eyed from countless hours of locked down surf video watching. Ain’t nuthin’ like the real thing, baby! Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Sets were breaking on the outside break and would roll into the inside.  The water was so clear and blue.  It reminded me of my trip to Hawaii.  I shot Michael Dunphy, Zoe Benedetto, Evan Geiselman, Jesse Heilman , Eros Exarhou, and several others.  – Peyton Willard –

Michael Dunphy on an overhead perfect right. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Evan G. taking the easy way out on the Ponce river jetty.  Willard @peytonwillard_

This is Evan Geiselman with a mental blow tail. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Austin Clouse going vertical. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

This is also Evan with a perfectly tailored left barrel, which was rare for this day since most of  Tropical Storms waves favored going right- not that anybody was complaining! Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard

Michael Dunphy with another mental, tail waft wrap. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard

Cory Lopez going signature big with one of his huge, backside rotations. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Michael Dunphy on an overhead perfect right.photo: peyton willard ponce inlet florida

Kepa and Pete Mendia drove over four hours from locked down Palm County and were greatly rewarded for their effort. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Michael Dunphy laying it all out right before the wave closed out. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

For this two shot sequence, I zoomed my lens out to 200mm to capture the entire wave. This is Michael Dunphy going right on a perfect Ponce wave. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

This is Cory Lopez in an insane Ponce A frame. I shot this zoomed out at 200mm and on the walkway to the Ponce parking lot. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Evan Geiselman with his mental, upside down backside attack. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Michael Dunphy spraying everyone down with this fully railed out wrap. Photo: Peyton Willard @peytonwillard_

Meet the very talented, 17 year old photo grom from Saint Augustine Florida, Mr. Peyton Willard and give him a follow on IG @peytonwillard_ for more great photos ! And thanks to our very good friends at Wave Riding Vehicles for supporting www.easternsurf.com since day one and helping bring you great content like this for nearly 30 years! Give them the support they deserve by visiting their store at https://www.waveridingvehicles.com .

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