Surfing the North Atlantic in the winter months can evoke a range of rather strong emotions, which frequently coincide with the overall physical experience. Conditions can vary from quiet, light offshore winds with elegantly peeling lines to harsh winds, heavy swells and strong currents. The quality of the light can vary greatly from warm golden sunrise/sunset hues to an infinite array of grey tones. The quality of the light often make the experience more intense in its own way. While the water is often intensely cold, the quality of the inter-personal interactions in the line-up also seem to shift with the overall mood becoming more contemplative and more communal as opposed to competitive.
The last week has proved to mirror the ever-changing conditions of the North Atlantic in the winter and has made me again appreciate this special season for surfers in the Northeast. While certain aspects of the winter surfing experience remain difficult or annoying, the overall experience far out ways the discomforts ensued.
This photograph was taking at sunrise on 12/13, the winds were howling out of the northwest, the air temp was in the low 30's and the wind chill was in the low teens but the swell was maintaining its shape and the spray of the lip was enhancing the dramatic quality of the morning.