East Coast Winters

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by ncardillo, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. ncardillo

    ncardillo Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    So I'm a surfer from New Jersey who was recently assigned an informative speech. In order for me to not want to pry my eyes out doing this project and research, I wanted to talk about something that actually sparked my interest. Surfing.

    This got me thinking, everyone knows about the idealized version of surfing. Ya know, a pretty Hawaiian day, sun shining, salt water looming in the air, and of course a heavy-set Hawaiian man named Titto is in the background strumming a ukulele. Perfect waves 8-10ft waves, peeling down the line like never before. Oh, and it's sunset. It's always sunset.

    But no one knows about winter surfing on the east coast.. unless you are involved yourself. Now, I'm going into the speech assuming everyone in the room is an absolute kook who has never touched anything other than a "boogie board". (This is a combination of me generalizing, and also following my professor's orders, which is to assume no one knows anything about your topic.)

    Any who, my 2 main points for this speech is how someone would surfing in these horrendous conditions that winter on the east coast present, and why they would do so.

    I'm pretty set for the 'how', as it would simply be to put a wettie on and suck it up. But the 'why' is where I'm stumped. Obviously the east coast, at least NJ, is primarily dead in the warm months. And then in the winter, a switch gets flipped and abracadabra, there are waves!

    Now my question, and I apologize for this being so long, is simply why does this happen. Why does the proverbial "switch" get flipped? What happens in the weather, in the water, and in the air?

    If you guys or gals could answer that for me, that would be phenomenal. Thank you!
  2. Gfootr

    Gfootr Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Jet Stream completely shifts.
    Air masses collide differently.
    The south stays warm in the winter, North gets cold, this year friggin cold - and the line between the two causes the ocean to come alive.

    I have lots of reasons I surf NJ all year. One of the main reasons for surfing in winter - no life guards! Nothing sucks butt more than 100 people jammed into a 50 foot "surfing" area - the main irony being - it's to keep people safe! lol!

  3. ncardillo

    ncardillo Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Thanks man! I appreciate it. Where in NJ do you typically surf?
  4. RIsurfer

    RIsurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    Tell me about it!!! The water's never going to warm up!!!
  5. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012

    the waves I tell ya!!!!!!!!

    people aren't going surfing in the dead of winter to impress chicks or seem special.most of the time theres nobody in sight,nobodys watching.they surf because they love to surf,and we get our best waves in the winter time.after going through summer we look forward to winter.real surfers on the eastcoast pray for winter,not summer.this aint cali or Hawaii where the suns shining and babes all around.this is 25 degree 40 knot wind 2 dgree windchill kinda day.

    winter surfing isn't some underground club u speak of.we are never hidden.just go to the beach after the next time it snows
  6. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    yea that's another thing I forgot to mention.no lifegaurds.they are ants at a picnic.surfers get hassled by these mini hasselhoffs all summer long.u have to pay 10 bucks to get on the beach,then ur allowed to surf between 2 jettys with 100 other people out.summer sucks on the eastcoast.I hope winter never ends
  7. ncardillo

    ncardillo Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    "winter surfing isn't some underground club u speak of.we are never hidden.just go to the beach after the next time it snows"[/QUOTE]

    To an average-non surfer? Pretty unheard of.. That's why you have ABC and FOX news writing articles and reporting on-air about surfers headed into the water. I'll be sure to invite my public speaking class with me next time I chase a swell this winter again..
  8. Lipsmacker

    Lipsmacker Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    Wow! I just read an article about beach access in New Jersey. I had no idea that you have to pay to get on the beach up there. That is Bullshjt. Yall have got it rough up there. I feel for ya.
  9. surfingwasteland

    surfingwasteland Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    You are contradicting yourself here. Rather than present winter as horrendous conditions, present it as cold "hawaii".

    Dumbing down weather jargon to a class of idiots could be your hardest task. Simplify the "why" part of the initial topic, like why winter surf is better than summer surf. Not why paddle out in "horrendous" conditions, the term horrendous is looked at differently if you are a surfer.
  10. stinkbug

    stinkbug Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Only in summer, and only when the guards are on duty.
    There's easy ways to sneak on most beaches. Usually 16 year old girls working the entrances that don't give a crap.
  11. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    In short? Desperation

    Winter is actually inconsistent in the northeast. Just check the forecast for the next week out to see. Then compare it to california. lol Summer is REALLY REALLY flat. Like chest high waves maybe 3-4 times from memorial day to labor day on average .Sometimes on terrible years there can only be 1 day for 3 1/2 months with chest high waves(vs like 60 times in same period in Cali) This makes people really desperate for waves. Just visit a point in rhode island on the first hurricane swell and you'll get it. On another note, only a very small percentage of surfers actually surf in the winter. It's brutal.

    All I've ever touched is a boogie board and yes there are people who boogie board in the middle of a northeast winter. Not me though. I'm in the water may to early november. Those people in the water in January are nuts! LOL And yes I have a full winter suit. I use it in spring/late fall.

    Fall and spring are much better than winter and are actually the most consistent. Biggest waves are in fall, not winter. But even fall/spring have long flat spells, but nothing compared to summer where the lake atlantic is in it's full glory. Cali in the middle of the summer is MUCH more consistent than the northeast in september. It's all relative.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  12. surfingwasteland

    surfingwasteland Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    To the OP, this quote here sums up why I surf in the winter... Not because of desperation, not because of less numbers in the line up, but because if you don't surf all year, you make false statements like "it's only chest high 3-4 times average in the busy season." Someone that is truly dedicated to an activity doesn't let cold weather (or weekdays) stand in the way.
  13. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    It is only chest high a few times a year on average memorial day to labor day. I've been doing this for quite some time. I'd hardly call that a false statement. You have no clue dog. Stick to mountain biking.

    There's plenty of places I can be ALONE in the summer/fall/spring in rhody. Solo sessions all the time THANK GOD.

    Go back west! Please! LOL
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  14. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Screw winter surfing. I can't wait until it warms up again so I can get back in. I'm frothing for it. Can't wait to hit up my favorite breaks this spring.
  15. surfingwasteland

    surfingwasteland Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Your right, dog, you must be a veteran **** dragger.
  16. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Hell yeah......
  17. smitty517

    smitty517 Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    This conditions this winter were abnormal - both waves and weather. There are plenty of years when Jan/feb are plagued by constant high pressure (west or northwest winds) which equates to very minimal surf. I can't recall a winter with so many swells (caveat - the absurd lack of a hurricane season may have altered my winter perspective). The easiest way to approach east coast surfing IMO is to have equipment (boards, wetsuits) that allow you to ride anything that comes our way.
  18. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    if you have to ask "why" you're not really a surfer...sorry.
  19. mrcoop

    mrcoop Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    I have seen flat winters and I have seen good summers. A shift in a Bermuda high during the summer can bring in a prolonged south swell but can often cause some severe upwelling...causing water temps to plummet and turn water to chocolate milk, but there are waves, at least in my area...and then there are winters where the nw offshore blow does not quit...you talkin about flat...I have seen it look like a bathtub for weeks.

    With that all said...fall, winter and spring can bring in some thick and heavy waves that are seldom seen in the summer...without getting into weather dynamics, in a nutshell, wind speed is just plain stronger with winter storms. Tropical type systems in late Sumer and fall are, IMO, the best. We actually can get long period swells from these, which, IMO, offers the best the east coast can get...days of "swell" with some lengthy periods. As long as the winds cooperate, these tropical systems can be bliss over a week, if they spin around the Bermuda area. What irritates me the most about tropical systems, is the wind blows the wrong direction for a week only to spoil the entire swell...Chopping it up....and that SUCKS!

    MY SAVIOR Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014