Tag Archives: jersey

The Science Behind The Sand Behind Sandy: The Garden State’s Run of All-time Waves

Between “Superstorm” Sandy and New Year’s, the East Coast experienced a run of swell that will probably become Tri-state lore. Yes, the window of opportunity was unusually lengthy. Yes, the Mayan calendar was involved. But the main reason why we’ll be talking about Dirty Jerz’s “Doomsday swell” and its siblings for years to come is that when they hit the ravaged coastline, they turned into immaculate, occasionally monstrous waves. Waves for days, you might even say. The likes of which haven’t been seen around here in, well, possibly ever. Some may call it divine justice, but it’s more like environmental recompense: It turns out that there’s scientific evidence that Sandy is actually behind the Right Coast’s firing good fortune.

“That swell before Christmas (the “Doomsday swell”), I think that might have been the best I’ve ever seen Bay Head [New Jersey],” says Billabong rider (and local legend) Sam Hammer. “There was like a four-hour period there where I’d never seen it consistently that size with the shape it had. And it wasn’t getting smaller. That just… doesn’t happen,” he laughs. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it look like that.”

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Few Fall Sessions

Another epic Raia-Struck collab…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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“That man behind you is naked.”


I’m laying on the beach in Seaside Park. Katy doesn’t appear to be fucking with me, so I prop myself on an elbow and peer south: Penis. Of the middle-aged persuasion.

Then Speedo. Never thought I’d be so grateful for a Speedo.

As we’re recovering from the shock of such flagrant nudity on a non-nude beach, the guy begins walking determinedly in our direction, sunscreen in hand. No. We strategically avert our eyes and act as if we haven’t noticed. Until he is upon us, glaring sun behind his aged back, in all his Speedoed glory.

He quickly utters lots of German words that probably translate, most nearly, to “Will you please rub this sunblock on my back? I can’t reach. I’m German.”

I find myself speechlessly shaking my head with a dazed and horrified look in my eyes. Jackie glances from him to me and back, amused. Katy grudgingly says, “I’ll do it,” and stands up.

For the entire 30 seconds that she’s applying cream to the nude dude’s back, her expression is one of absolute disgust. Like a vegan confronted with freshly hacked pig flesh. Disgust to the nth degree.

“GermanGermanGermanIndecipherableGermanDankeGermanDanke.” This is obviously the reason he’s unaware that it’s not okay to expose your d at F Street. Fair. Maybe.

He returns to his blanket and lays down. On his back. Katy is bewildered.

She is also from England, visiting our fine shoals for the first time. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment (Jersey totally deserves it more than NuMex).

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“Dirty Jerz Goes Off Sun 12/27” from NYC Watershots

NYC Watershots always has these masterly photos of what the Atlantic did, like, 5 seconds ago.  Check out their gallery of Garden State barrels.  The waves were really beautiful on Sunday.

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A Pleasant Surprise DVD Available TODAY!

Kyle Pahlow and Nick Zegel are not only two awesome guys who happen to have a knack for finding the most delicious, underground fried noodles in New York’s Chinatown at 3 a.m.  They are also superbly talented filmmakers who have put together a beautiful homage to surfing the mixed conditions and sometimes frigid waters of Jersey.

I saw A Pleasant Surprise back in September at the New York Surf Film Festival and fell completely in love with it.  Being from New Jersey, I know that our surf culture is unique, and it’s so nice to see that captured in this finely visualized tribute to the most scoffed-at state in the nation.

My favorite part is when the guys are talking about their high-tech winter gear.

The DVD is available today (Dec. 16th) – do yourself a favor and buy it.

Here’s what Surfer says about A Pleasant Surprise.

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