Many times the winters in New Jersey can feel long, depressing and as if they will last for eternity. Did I forget to mention frigid and chilling to the bone? Well yeah, it’s as cold as a witches wrinkled and deflated tit too. But for surfers the darkened clouds of winter always have a silver lining; empty line ups and big hollow surf. That said, once February comes to a close no matter how many solid days of surf we’ve had; I can’t help but look forward to the warmer months.

Like most surfers I have mixed emotions about the summer months. I both love and abhor them.

Backside Tube Saturday

Love: I can’t wait to get out of all the rubber and feel loose, free and agile again. Warm water means no more C3-P0 style. The sun rises early and it sets late, making our days much longer and enjoyable altogether. I don’t want to look like an old leather handbag when I’m an old man, but I must admit there’s something that feels pretty good about soaking up the sun and having a moderate tan. I think it’s called Vitamin D. After the destruction Hurricane Sandy left behind, we all have some mixed emotions about the subject of hurricanes. Yet as surfers let’s be honest, we’ve always looked forward to hurricane season with it’s long period swells and bigger surf.


Abhor: The summer is drenched in duality. The positive and the negative, dual energy often times can combine to explode. The water is warm but the waves suck and now there is a swarm of surfers in the water that really aren’t self aware yet. Basically they don’t know what the fuck is going on and that makes them a bit dangerous. They’re talking loudly, yelling, giving the stink eye, paddling in front of you, behind you and just sitting like a deer in headlights right where you want to project your next turn. The bar you liked hanging out in nine months out of the year has now been attacked by testosterone overdosed meat heads. The beach is no longer a tranquil place of solitude; there’s radios blasting, whistles blowing, umbrellas tumble-weeding down the beach, cops checking for beach badges and then the trash left behind after the clock strikes 5pm.


For the last few weeks we’ve had some unseasonably cold water and seasonably weak dribble for surf. It was a bummer that caused me to have wintery dreams each night, remembering the numerous amazing days of the past winter season. Cold water plus shitty surf, that’s just no good on all levels.

Ronnie Jackson with broken board SaturdayRonnie Jackson splits in two

Things made a turn for the better this weekend as hurricane season hit us early this year in the form of the first Tropical Storm. Tropical Storm Andrea brought solid surf to Florida and all the way up the coastline to the North East. New Jersey received some of the best swell from Andrea, with clean overhead a-frame barrels.

Shawn Zappo. Micro Tube. SundayShawn Zappo getting some fun Andrea left-overs alone in Northern Monmouth County

Sadly for myself I missed Saturday’s swell, I had previous family plans and at this point in my game, sometimes some swells take a backseat to other obligations. I did of course get to suffer throughout the day as photos of the swell came up on Facebook and Instagram. Also I was exposing myself to more pain, continually checking the wave cams all day. Over the past few days I’ve felt a good amount of remorse and even shame for missing the Andrea swell. I did get to sneak in some fun ones early Sunday morning in northern Monmouth County, even if they were only the lingerings of a great swell that’s time had passed.

Shawn Zappo. Rebound. SundayShawn Zappo getting some fun Andrea left-overs alone in Northern Monmouth County

This may read as somewhat of a bummer of a story on a great swell, but it’s only the point of view of a surfer who “missed it”. I’m happy for all the surfers who got innumerable good ones and the photographers that captured the action. Also with this as a kick off to summer, I’m feeling very optimistic about the potential for some really fun surf this season.

Shawn Zappo. Full fin release. SundayShawn Zappo getting some fun Andrea left-overs alone in Northern Monmouth County

I’m waiting for the next solid swell and staying stoked in the meantime.

All photos by Christor Lukasiewicz. in Northern Monmouth County.

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