News of last week’s pre-storm swell brought surfers out to spots from Rincon to Jalama and points beyond. Surfers by the score heeded the call of the ocean and donned their wetsuits, waxed their boards and converged in the surf with the excitement of kids in a candy store … very brave kids in a very big, wet candy store.

There was very little waiting in line — set after set of overhead-high waves came rolling in from the Pacific as watermen and women, many hungry after the less-than-stellar summer surf season, charged up and down the first of the winter swells.

The surge also brought out other members of the local surf ecology — the surf photographers, who came out en masse to try their hand at becoming the next Brandon Aroyan, or David Pu’u. With tripods set and lenses fixed to the surfline, these individuals caught the Santa Barbara of postcards: the bright sky, the perfectly formed wave and the blissed-out surfer.

Blissed out, that is, if they managed to ride the fast-moving water. Many wiped out, a few caught hypothermia, and several came away with crushed boards. All, however, earned bragging rights and would gladly prove themselves again when the next storms arrive.