Tag Archives: science

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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Experiment Subject Numero Uno

Name: Evan

Borough: Manhattan

Age: Probably 17 years old. (Don’t judge me. This is research.)

Description: 6’4″ish. Light brown, shaggy, ear-length hair. Black Volcom jacket over a hoodie, brown pants, black skate sneaks.

Surfdar Certitude (Vibe Strength): 54.831%


Okay, kids. Weigh in!

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Kelly’s Numero Diez y No Hay Surfers en esta Ciudad!

Kelly Slater: Superhuman. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I mostly just wanted to update you guys on the surfer stalking. I saw one character on the 6 train who I’m 96% sure was a surfer (very blonde and wearing a neon pink t-shirt) but he basically disappeared after getting off at Spring Street. I thought for sure he’d head to Saturdays, but no such luck. He has literally been the only person to set off my surfer-dar since I decided to conduct this massively creepy experiment, but I’ll not be deterred…

In other news, I am going to Tex-ass tomorrow for my dear friend Cody’s wedding and I’m super psyched–even though I’m missing this swellage:

Ah well, let me know how your sessions go!

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Birthday Month and Mad Science

November is what I like to call “Birthday Month.” Not only is my birthday (favorite day of the year, duh) this month, but so are the birthdays of several of my favorite people. Mom, I’m looking at you. The moniker is made even more appropriate (and relevant) by the fact that Water, Water will also be a year old on November 12th.

B.M. seems like the perfect time to get a little eccentric, so I’ve come up with this experiment. It’s based on a crackpot theory I have that surfers can recognize other surfers. I think it’s partly due to instinct, partly to keen observational skills (probably honed by constant lineup vigilance). RVCA hat, toned triceps, deeper base tan than most New Yorkers, less-than-perfect hair: pretty solid indicators. Nothing infallible, however. This is where instinct comes in. We have a vibe. Or maybe it’s a pheromone. Liable to be imperceptible to other species, it signals our presence to those in the know. Much like how bees are genetically capable of sniffing out fear, surfers are genetically built to ID other surfers. I am the best ever analogy creator. Anyway, that’s my theory. So here’s the fun part: I’m going to put it to the test.

For the next month, every time I see someone who my gut tells me is a surfer [within the confines of New York City] I am going to ask. I’m also going to ask if I can take his photo, so that I can post it here for you (all four of you) and maybe–just maybe–it can be like a game. You tell me if you agree with my assessment, and I’ll tell you whether your surfer radar is better than mine. I might rub it in your face if it’s not. But wait… shit. If your radar’s off, that kind of disproves my hypothesis. Whatever, let the creeping on innocent, Billabong-wearing strangers begin!

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Centaur Blog: Just because I believe in science…

I want this board.  And also, that magical — er, I mean, scientific — machine that uses Big Red to turn dreams into realities…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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