East Coast Freeze, Epic Double-Overhead Surf

Despite snowy beaches and frigid seas, the recent weather has churned up some Eastern gold.
New England
New England on fire in a frosty winter. © Trevor Murphey
By Teddy Ward

While some of us over in sunny Southern California are complaining about throwing on a sweater in the morning, some real end of the world type stuff is going down in the Midwest and Northeast of the country.

Week-long blizzards. 60 degrees below zero. Inches of snow in Florida. The mayor of Chicago says it’s illegal to drive until it’s safe. They’re also calling Chicago “Chiberia,” by the way.

There’s a polar vortex over half the country leaving most people wondering if the movie The Day After Tomorrow wasn’t that far off the mark.

Bad Weather, Good Surf

But on the bright side of things… Bad weather usually brings good surf. And this is especially true on the Eastern Seaboard. Why just over the weekend a couple brave souls from Jersey-- Balaram Stack and Sam Hammer-- woke up in the wee freezing hours of the morning to drive to a secret spot in New England where the nasty weather had brought in some gorgeous, uncrowded surf.

Balaram Stack
Balaram Stack no-hands a New England smoker. © Luke Simpson

Yes, there was snow on the beach. Yes, they were in hoods, 5/4s, booties and gloves. Yes, the outside air temp was below 30. But also yes, the waves were double-overhead, top to bottom-barreling with no one out.

And surfers from the Northeast have a special relationship with winter storms that maybe warm-weathered souls like myself could never understand. The boys feasted, and the meal looked delicious. Hoods and all.

Said Balaram, “While it was probably one of the coldest surfs of my life, it was the best waves I’ve gotten all winter on the East Coast. Definitely worth waking up at 3 am to get there.”

To see photos from this special day, Surfing Magazine has thrown up a photo feature of their session. And with the “polar vortex” not really going anywhere any time soon, expect to see more epic surf coming from the Right Coast in the near future. Hell, for the sake of some good waves, maybe we need some snow on this side of the country.

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