MELBOURNE, Fla. — Ryan Weber rode out Hurricane Matthew with family in Satellite Beach, then shredded the “epic” waves rolling ashore after the storm’s dangerous winds had moved north Friday.
“Everyone likes their chance to surf a hurricane,” said Weber, a 25-year-old air-conditioning technician. “It’s always fun when Mother Nature brings these big waves to us. We try to take advantage of it when we can. I have a lot of friends that evacuated that are trying to get over right now, trying to surf.”
Officials reopened most of Brevard County's causeways around 3 p.m. Friday.
Weber acknowledged entertaining a few doubts overnight about his decision not to evacuate the barrier island, but overall Matthew “really wasn’t that bad as far as everyone was claiming it was going to be,” he said. “Didn’t see any signs of flooding. Not really too much damage other than some power lines, couple light poles here and there and some trees falling down. But other than that, it wasn’t too bad.”
At Pelican Beach Park, the dunes clearly showed evidence of the storm's pounding waves, and some wooden boards and sections of boardwalk littered the sand.
Weber surfed waves taller than himself with his younger brother and several friends, as strong wind gusts persisted.
“It’s kind of going off,” he said. “A little bit less wind would be nice. But other than that, we’ve already been catching a couple of waves. It’s a lot of fun.”
Follow James Dean on Twitter: @flatoday_jdean
PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew hits north Florida coast