harder or easier to surf the northeast?

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by polevaultersurfer, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. polevaultersurfer

    polevaultersurfer Active Member

    Oct 4, 2013
    ok ive been thinking even though the waves aren't usually as big or powerful as other places in the world,i believe it is harder to surf and get good here than a lot of other places in the world, I mean think about it, places with perfect point breaks like Margaret river, j-bay, Rincon etc are predictable breaks, always a right . ive never surfed off of long island besides a few jersey and rhode island trips so I wouldn't know. I just feel like having to surf an ever changing beach break with rips and shifting sand and windswell is way harder than in many places, I would love to hear some input!
  2. HighOnLife

    HighOnLife Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2014

  3. Tlokein

    Tlokein Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    East coast surfing = blue collar surfing.

    Ya gotta work at it. Whether that means constantly paddling around to get in position, pumping and working your butt off to get the most out of a 5 sec closeout, or driving around chasing swells, ya still gotta put the work in.

    Always envied them fellers that could walk out and hit the same peeling right hander day after day, with all the time in the world to play around. Bastiges.
  4. kidrock

    kidrock Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    There's a reason that most of the best surfers in the world come from the worst waves in the world.
  5. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    yup. But there are plenty of left points all over the world. Most of the west coast and mexico is righties though. But i get your point.
  6. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    But there is another side to that equation. Most guys get good surfing on the EC if they work hard at it, but inevitably, they move to different locations. Because, yeah, if you want to learn the fundamentals of surfing, the EC is a great place to do so... But you are never going to experience waves around here like that. You won't know what a 300 yard point break feels like, throwing 18 turns on the same wave and really be able to lay out insane runs all on the same wave. You can get good here, but you won't get GREAT unless you travel some. That goes for anyone, from anywhere. Its like the Brazilians. They are great at punchy beach break airs, but it took them a few years to get the style dialed in on those big points.

    But it's whatever. There is a reason Kelly left Florida as a teenager to CA, then onto HI. The hobgoods didn't get famous in Florida either. They got good there, they got GREAT around the world.

    The best surfer, in this generation that I know of from back home in Maryland, showed up in a line up next to me in SoCal about 7 years ago. I was like, hey, aren't you ***** *? He said, yeah. I said what are you doing out here. He said, I moved here. He has since moved back, but there comes a time regardless of if you are from CA or Jersey, you gotta get out and see different waves if you want to get GREAT.... And surfing heavy east coast surf, even for the pros is a humbling experience when its on. Surfing here can be just as difficult as anywhere in the world when things get heavy. You don't get out through channels with dry hair when its TOH here. You gotta work for it. And bleed for it.
  7. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Jeffrey's Bay looks like a pretty hard wave to surf to me. mad fast sections, turns have to be nailed perfectly to avoid falling behind. Finding a barrel you can make it out of looks really hard and technical. Beautiful wave. Occy looked like a klutz on it the other day in that heritage event and my guess is he would surf our beach breaks pretty well.

    Rincon looks like the crowd pressure is INTENSE. It is a beautiful wave but I cant even imagine how much it must throw you off to be devoting about 75% of your concentration constantly jockeying for position.

    I guess I'm just saying video and photos probably make a lot of other waves look easier than they are for all kinds of reasons. I've shot video of a good day on Delmarva and it just makes getting barreled look easy after you edit out all of the BS. If I were from somewhere else I would conclude that the wave is a whole lot easier and more mannered than it really is by a long shot.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  8. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Way harder to surf on the coast of no waves.
  9. mattybrews

    mattybrews Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    Just moved from east to west coast. Grew up on the east coast (Long Island) chasing inconsistent, mostly sh***y swell, that's often short-lived when it even gets good. Out west it seems 80% of the time I go out there are good waves to be had so long that you know the spots and how they work with the tides. A "small day" out here could be considered a dream day back east.

    I do think it takes a lot more dedication and skill to get rides on sub-par east coast waves...but living in an area with consistently good conditions gives you a lot of mileage to get practice on.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  10. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Hard to get a sense of "flow" in a typical EC beachbreak. But there are a few gems around that let you unwind, if you're lucky enough to know where they are, be able to get there when it's on, and hold your own in the crowd.
  11. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    exactly what this guy said.

    also to add,where I mostly surf,it doesn't turn on unless its atleast 3 ft,anything under and its flat,not even a ripple,and when it is on its a sandsucking thick hollow barrel that will snap a board with every wave.so yea id say its harder to surf here rather than a place like cali with a million mushy little waves.but yea u aint gonna get good unless u travel.the ec is good starting grounds,but u need to get ur feet wet in different hemispheres like indo.if u surf a beachbreak all ur life then go to a long razor sharp reef like uluwatu,ur not going to do so well
  12. Stranded in Smithfield

    Stranded in Smithfield Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I thought I was just me. Went back and watched that '84(?) J- Bay footage from Occumentary confirming that he didn't look good at all last week.

    When I moved to the Western Pacific I found surfing big gnarly shallow reef breaks intimidating at first. I'm no Laird, but once you get past the initial jitters it was surprising easy to surf those waves because they did the exact same thing every time while providing all the power you need with little effort. I remember my first session returning to the east coast after a couple of years... soft but 3 foot or so session at Jax Pier. It proved to be humbling. The silty water made my deck feel like it was coated in oil. When I did get my footing locked in, I habitually bogged down turns or out ran sections. Seems the only thing I could only manage was a frontside flail to fall backwards while groms did alley-opps in the shorebreak. I had to do a few secluded solo sessions to get the feel as well as some new boards. Perfection is easy ... mushy beach break is not.
  13. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    I have to agree with that. If I just went by all the 0-1 and 1-2 ft forecasts and reports we've been seeing for VB pretty much since May, might not even try going out. I know it's been repeated here ad nauseam, but it comes down to checking out the various spots at different times for yourself.
    More than occasionally this summer I've lucked out and conditions were considerably better than forecasted or even reported. Conditions might require a lot of paddling to get situated, especially on those choppy afternoons. Sometimes it may be just a brief window of opportunity when the conditions are just right for an hour, or two at most. It can be hit or miss - especially if you're working or have other responsibilities and free time is limited. But it's worth the effort. Otherwise you might write off the entire summer and never go out.
  14. salzsurf

    salzsurf Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    I like to compare Northeast surfing to Northeast skiing. If you live and grow up dealing with the conditions and then travel or move to places with great, consistent conditions, you'll quickly be just as good, if not better than the locals in your surf/ski paradise.

    However, if the person who grew up and lives in a place with great, consistent conditions comes and tries their hand in the northeast, they'll probably be pouting and frustrated within twenty minutes and most likely never come back.
  15. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    I can't speak for the NE but round here I found it pretty challenging to get "good", took lots of time and effort but over time I have improved quite a bit by surfing both the Gulf (OMG it's not easy) and the E. Coast of FL. I didn't travel much until the last few years. I have since been OBX once, to PR twice (3 in Oct.), Santa Cruz most recently, and I gotta say the waves there (PR & CA) seemed a lot easier to get into and were a lot more predictable to say the least. I feel like surfing around here is kinda like swinging a weighted bat, then when I go to other places it was a lot easier than expected because of the challenges I faced back home. Now the challenge here doesn't seem so challenging these days either, only when it's really big do I find myself challenged.
  16. Kahuna Kai

    Kahuna Kai Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Good thread! I feel like a total kook on some of those sloppy crappy days and feel like KellyLairdMickMohammadAli when the surf lines up perfect. Makes sense.
  17. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
  18. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Mmmmm winter
  19. Tlokein

    Tlokein Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Right on DosXX. Was in Wilmy last weekend, flat on Sat, woke up at 5:45AM Sunday and checked cams/fcast for DP. Clean but small peelers. Figured even if I rousted Mrs. Tlok right then I'd get about an hour before the tide killed it. Not worth waking my honey badger. I figured once the tide started dropping about and hour or two later I'd catch the same swell, maybe a little smaller. Sure enough a couple hours we were in the water and I got about 2hrs of small but clean and fun little waves.

    If I just went by the fcast I'd have skipped it. Ya just gotta get out there.
  20. HighOnLife

    HighOnLife Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2014