Looking back at the East Coast’s swell of the year

This is what it’s like to score some of the best barrels of your life.
By Andrew Lewis

For two days in March, pros up and down the US East Coast chased some of the biggest barrels they'd ever seen breaking along their local beaches.

The culprit was a massive nor'easter, named Stella, that, along with pumping surf, brought blizzard conditions and freezing temperatures. 

In this mesmerising edit by Jersey filmer, Ryan Mack, longtime pro and fearless coldwater charger, Sam Hammer, looks back on two of the best days of his surfing career at home.

After the blizzard moved offshore and the skies cleared, Hammer and a tight crew of East Coast surfers braved the 28 degree F (-2 C) air, putting in three and four hour sessions in the 40 degree F (4 C) water –because when it gets this good in Jersey and New England, you stay out in the water as long as humanly possible. 

Surfer Sam Hammer gets barrelled during Winter Storm Stella
Sam Hammer, in the eye of the storm © Ryan Mack

As Hammer tells Mack, Winter Storm Stella was a swell he won't soon forget. And based on their waves in this edit, neither will Mike Gleason, Balaram Stack, Pat Schmidt, or (especially) Rob Kelly.

Stella was a hell of a way to cap off the winter – here's to hoping for more next year. 


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