After Tropical Storm Isaias skirted the Space Coast, Longboard House in downtown Indialantic forecast an action-packed day Monday with its outdoor sign: “Get Ready: Swell Is Coming.”
“The wind’s changed offshore now. So the surf’s probably going to clean up, get pretty fun,” manager Randy Howell said while stocking a wooden rack with colorful surfboards just after 8:30 a.m.
“Since the storm’s gone by, everybody’s probably going to pop to the beach. Everybody will be coming from Miami, Orlando,” said Howell, a 30-year surfing veteran.
“School’s out. A lot of people are off work. When you get a huge hurricane that doesn’t come onshore, business stays good. People don’t leave. People are still at home,” he said.
By 9 a.m., more than two dozen surfers bobbed amid the waves at Paradise Beach Park near Indialantic. Spectators watched the action from the sand and dune crossovers, occasionally shooting photos and video.
Unfortunately for Melbourne surfer B.J. Barrett, he walked back to to the parking lot carrying his snapped-in-half Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto hybrid surfboard.
“Better get some epoxy,” a bystander quipped.
Barrett graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science from the Florida Institute of Technology.
“I tried catching a wave. My board got out from under me — and it just nose-dove into the ground and broke. Very first surfboard,” Barrett said.
“The waves have been pumping all morning. Some people have been getting barreled. Cool to see,” he said, referring to surfers riding inside the barrels of crashing waves.
Orlando bodyboarder Ivan Morell and three friends left about 6 a.m. Monday to surf the Space Coast near Sixth Avenue in Indialantic.
“The conditions are good. It’s good height. Pretty clean,” Morell said, catching his breath onshore alongside his board and swim fins.
“We were going up and down the coast trying to score. We kind of started here, then we went up to Canova Park, Hilton, Paradise. They we decided we wanted to set up shop here for a little bit,” he said.
Just to the north near the Indialantic Boardwalk, Palm Bay retiree Jake Eso swept the sands with his Garrett AT Pro metal detector. Wearing a tool belt, he typically searches for hidden items on Indialantic beaches three or four times per week — and last week, he discovered a gold-plated watch valued at $275.
Isaias’ waves unearthed a sea turtle nest that Eso spotted during his beach walk, and he said crabs had seized some of the eggs. But the passing tropical storm did not improve his metal-detecting fortunes.
“I’ve found loose change: a quarter, two dimes, a Canadian penny. You know the Canadians are here,” Eso said, laughing.
Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or email@example.com. Twitter: @RickNeale1. To subscribe: https://cm.floridatoday.com/specialoffer/