DRINK THE KOOL-AID
 
 
 
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DRINK THE KOOL-AID

  • subtitle: And Ode To The East Coast’s Cult Of Cold-Water Surfers

Written by  Allison Arteaga
Tuesday, 1/07/14

First of all, we must acknowledge something right off the bat, something that we all once knew but forgot somewhere along the road: to the casual observer, surfing in a snowstorm is very clearly an insane thing to do. With arctic temperatures biting through snow jackets, hats, boots, and wool socks, who could possibly imagine choosing to plunge into a dark and frigid ocean over seeking out warmth and comfort? What sort of dire madness is that? Perhaps masochism? It defies basic survival instincts. But yet there is an entire cult built around this particular brand of insanity. And here on the East Coast, their following is strong.

There’s only one way to understand this phenomenon. You’ve got to drink the Kool-Aid. So just take a sip. The first duck-dive in frosty water will hurt a bit. But after that? Bliss. Uncrowded lineups with firing waves. It’s a feast. As many barrels as you can handle. And sure, you may be slowly freezing, but you’re also kind of busy gorging yourself on fun. And by the time you make it back to shore, you’re hooked. Now you’re one of them: the crazy ones. The cult of cold-water surfers. But it’s okay. You know that your insanity is in pursuit of a righteous cause. Because what the unenlightened masses don’t realize is just how much stoke they’re missing out on. On the East Coast during wintertime, where there’s a will, there’s a wave. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what neoprene is for.

   
 
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Access all the past archives of all features under ESM Exclusives.