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Hurricane Irene: Are surfers crazy to love hurricanes?

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COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) -- What is it about hurricanes that draws surfers to the shore like moths to the flame? When everyone else is wringing their hands about a coming hurricane, some surfers respond with glee.

In his 2009 song “Surfing in a Hurricane,” Jimmy Buffett sings, “I ain’t afraid of dyin’, I don’t need to explain.”

When a major storm approaches, many surfers are thrilled by the much larger West Coast-type waves that churn up the East Coast’s normally flatter water. They peruse websites like magicseaweed.com or Swellinfo.com for the latest information on what the surf is doing.

“When they name the storm, that’s when you start planning your schedule,” Mark Mitchell told The New York Times last year when an advancing Hurricane Earl was making waves in North Carolina.

What surfers want is “double overhead” – waves that are 12 to 15 high, or twice as tall as a surfer. Waves that look more like something you would see in Hawaii than on Virginia Beach. But the risks rise too, especially for novices or those surfers who don't have a lot of experience in bigger waves.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Sports/2011/0826/Hurricane-Irene-Are-surfer...

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