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March 22, 2017

Riding a 5'9" Burnside model, North Carolina's Brett Barley just rocked the surfing world with one of the best barrel to air combos we've seen in a long time. And it wasn't just that one wave, Brett was on fire—and maybe had a little fire in his belly—after missing the Winter Storm Stella swell (don't worry about Brett he was scoring in Central America). Below is his recap from the day in his own words...

March 21, 2017 was suppose to be just a fun day of chest-shoulder high leftover swell... But when i showed up at the beach that morning that wasn't the case, the swell was still pumping in. Not only was it a surprisingly fun day all around, but I managed to finally pull a big full rotation Alley Oop, that has seemed to elude me over the years.

On my second wave of the morning, one that I thought was just another barrel turned into a really good air section afterwards, and with some help from the wind, I finally lofted and rode out of an air I've only come close to before. Wave #2 of the morning and my day was made. Here's a highlight of what transpired during the day... Air attempts gone bad due to stiff offshore winds, and some fun barrels, but what turned a normal day around Hatteras Island for me into a special one, was the wave at the end of the edit.

Here's a little backstory on why that barrel to air yesterday was so special for me: I feel like I've had a lot of "almosts" in surfing... Specifically a decent amount of airs that were above anything I'd ever done, and I'd just fumble on the 1yd line riding out every time. Hawaii this winter was the last straw, I was officially over "almost" landing bigger airs each session, and the frustration motivated me to start working out. My sister-in-law, Kristian Head, operates her own gym (The Fort Strength & Fitness), and is a certified trainer.

I teamed up with her 6-weeks ago in hopes of building some muscle to start landing some of those bigger airs I just couldn't seem to hold together upon landing. I was over all the "almosts" and ready to figure out what I needed to do to finally land one. Now I've only worked out a little over 4-weeks total, due to waves and travel, but I've noticed a significant difference in my leg strength while surfing. I think that air is a great representation of what a little extra effort out of the water can do. Whether it was the extra leg strength that held me during the landing, or the upper body we've been working on that helped with the layback, I don't know...

But all I know is, I don't think it's coincidence that I finally landed an air i've been striving towards, once I started putting in some extra time out of the water to get stronger.

Back to the gym in the morning...

VIDEOGRAPHY: Jeffrey O'Neil 

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