No matter your political persuasion, it’s fair to say that the last week, the last month, and the last year have been brutal in the United States. The 2016 presidential campaign will go down as the most endlessly negative, unprecedentedly divisive, and intimidatingly ugly in American history — and things don’t seem to be calming down even now, a week after the results were approved. So what do we do know? Well, if you’re an East Coast surfer, chances are you scored hard somewhere on the Rightside last week. Flawless barrels appeared everywhere from North Carolina to Delmarva to New Jersey to New England, with more sizeable surf than expected in nearly all nooks and crannies. While Barbados was kegging for the WSL Soup Bowl Pro Junior, Maritime slabs were unloading with a vengeance. Sunshine State ramps morphed into long walls in New York. Playful waves on the Florida Panhandle were balanced out by death pits on the Outer Banks. Best of all, the weather was damn near flawless: crisp fall mornings, light offshore winds, stunning sunsets, super moonrises, and sheer beauty for days on end. Which is exactly what we needed after a long, hard slog through the political mud culminated in one of the most unexpected and (depending on your perspective) disorienting days ever experienced on American soil. The right and the left in this country have a lot of work to do in the days, weeks, and months ahead. But for a few fleeting moments last week, all was right with the world. Check out the following 40 shots and let us know what you think…
North Carolina. Photo: Anthony Leone.
Less than eight hours after polls closed in the United States last week, this was the view in North Carolina — proof that there is still plenty of beauty in our glorious country.
Logan Kamen. Photo: Mike Incitti.
New Jersey’s Logan Kamen drives south for one of the best single-day runs of barrel riding we’ve seen in ages.
Eric Geiselman. Photo: Jason Obenauer.
While his younger brother Evan buckles down on qualification for the World Tour in 2017, Eric Geiselman just keeps on proving the point that he’s one of the most complete surfers in the world.
Stevie Pittman. Photo: Asher Nolan.
Speaking of a complete surfer — is it too soon to say that Stevie Pittman is officially there?
Charlie Weimar. Photo: James Katsipis.
“I got the call from Jesse Joeckel to come shoot, which was my first time shooting surf in months,” New York photographer James Katsipis says. “I got down there and it looked pretty good — and after Charlie Weimar took off, I got some scale and realized it was much bigger than it looked at first glance. The weather and light was flawless with perfect wind, which felt good. I’m a little rusty but the kid’s still got it! Thanks for the call Jesse.”
New Jersey. Photo: Dan Pryzgocki.
“A couple breaks were super crowded with people from all over New Jersey,” photographer Dan Pryzgocki says. “But my friends and I cruised five minutes down the island until there was no one around — like when this wave came through.”
Luke Gordon. Photo: Mark Harris.
South Carolina’s Luke Gordon scored a perfect 10 on this Barbados beauty at the WSL Soup Bowl Pro Junior, where Luke made the semifinals and Bajan native Ché Allan won. Stay tuned for a full report.
New England. Photo: Matt Czuchra.
A few thousand miles away from the nearest surf contest, this idyllic fall view was the reward for taking the path less traveled.
Christaan Van Vliet. Photo: Jordan Nason.
Meanwhile, on the Outer Banks… “After making this mutant barrel, Christaan Van Vliet had no doubt he made the right call heading south from his KDH homebreak. On a side note, this wave broke Christian’s leash even after he made the barrel and straightened out. I talked to him the other day and he was still frothing.”
Nathan Pooley. Photo: Alex Dantin.
And now for something completely different on the Florida Panhandle. Yes, Nathan Pooley and the Salty Humans crew caught bigger and more consequential waves last week — but how can you argue with a view like this in November?
Dana Knowles. Photo: Brian Thacker.
Dana Knowles burns a bit of speed on a much colder New England wavescape.
Photo: Brendan Medairy.
“Per•fect•ion: the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.”
North Carolina. Photo: Jon Carter.
And as you’ll see here, that perfection stretched from Delmarva all the way to the Outer Banks last Tuesday. Talk about a good way to wash off all the grime associated with this 2016 election season.
Colin Herlihy. Photo: Brandon Robidoux.
If you’re talking big barrels in Delmarva, the conversation begins and ends with one name: Colin Herlihy.
New Jersey. Photo: Fiona Mullen.
You know that feeling when a set wave detonates on your head, you come up gasping for air, and you immediately open your eyes to see what’s behind it? New Jersey photographer Fiona Mullen does too.
North Carolina. Photo: Jeffrey O’Neil.
Photographer Jeffrey O’Neil on this Outer Banks fever dream: “It was just perfect. There’s no other way to describe it.”
South Florida. Photo: James Knill.
Yeah, yeah — it wasn’t quite as heavy in South Florida. But for a surprise swell not associated with any massive cold front (as most wave events in this neck of the woods are), we’ll call it pretty damn dreamy.
Tim Raimo. Photo: Shawn Casey.
Calling all groms looking to up their backside tuberiding game before heading to Hawaii this winter: call Tim Raimo.
Gary Wheeler. Photo Dugan.
Central Florida on November 10th: still chunky, still rippable, and still warm. Gary Wheeler ain’t complaining.
The Great Lakes. Photo: Brian Tanis.
And now for something a wee bit colder on the Great Lakes: “We’ve been searching out this area for quite some time,” says photographer Brian Tanis. “Access and navigation can be rough to say the least, but it’s really an advantage that there is still so much unexplored territory here. It took a lot of research and several attempts to finally get it right, but it was so worth it when we finally did. Especially since there were just two of us this day, very possibly surfing this spot for the first time ever. It’s a very serene and peaceful place.”
Sterling King. Photo: Callaway Ramsey.
Everybody thinks about getting barreled on the Outer Banks. But Sterling King knows it’s the in-between moments that offer up the most untapped potential.
Sean Bernhardt. Photo: Reid Cashour.
Sean Bernhardt, locked in and gunning for the exit in New Jersey.
Roger Beal. Photo: Paul Girello.
How did surfer/shaper Roger Beal spend his Election Day morning? Appropriately enough, putting in a little R&D in the birthplace of American democracy.
Tommy Coleman. Photo: Mez.
Tommy Coleman didn’t enter this year’s ASF Championships at Sebastian Inlet, as he’s decided to move on to Surfing America Primes and other next-level events to continue his push toward making it down the long, hard road of the big leagues. But Tommy still showed up each day to cheer on friends, chair them up the beach, fish for snook next to the jetty, and freesurf while spreading a fun vibe on the beach. We get the feeling that a few kids were not bummed that Tommy decided not to compete, either.
Cassidy McClain & Matt Mattioli. Photo: Jake Krum.
Big changes are afoot in Atlantic City, whose finances were taken over by the state of New Jersey last Wednesday to avoid a bankruptcy declaration. Not sure if Cassidy McClain and Matt Mattioli were thinking about that on their walk back up the beach, but it sure made for a stunning contrast the day after Donald Trump, forever linked to the casino city, was elected president.
Perry Reynolds. Photo: Gus Potter.
The weather in New England on November 9th remained so dark it was almost like the sun never came up, according to multiple sources in the area. Good on Perry Reynolds for injecting a little flair into the overcast day with this big hack.
Tom Petriken. Photo: Connor Halpin.
What kind of world will we live in come 2017? If Tom Petriken has anything to do with it, things are still going to look damn stylish.
Jennings Sessom. Photo: Ricardo Jimenez.
Before Dillon Reed, Brad Beach, Ricardo Jimenez, and a crew of Virginia Beach’s finest boogied south to Dare County last week, they made a quick stop at First Street Jetty and captured Jennings Sessom taking flight — “not the only surprise on Election Day,” according to Dillon.
Balaram Stack. Photo: Mike Nelson.
Speaking of trips, Balaram Stack joined Mike Nelson, Mike Gleason, and a few other heavyweights for a run up to the Great White North. Stay tuned for much more from this adventure…
Andrew Gesler. Photo: Kyle Gronostajski.
Meanwhile, Andrew Gesler went the opposite direction and lucked out on one of the best South Jersey mornings in recent memory.
Simon Hetrick. Photo: Sam Moody.
Simon Hetrick and the under-18 squad decamped for Barbados, where they competed in the WSL Soup Bowl Pro Junior and scouted out new backdrops like this. We can’t wait until photographer/filmmaker Sam Moody drops his edit.
Keith Noonan. Photo: Tim Torchia.
“Keith Noonan had picked off a good one that really held up, but I was a little too far out to see him get really deep,” photographer Tim Torchia says. “Still, I was excited with his takeoff, which showed the size and the line these waves had on a really fun morning.”
New Jersey. Photo: Dave Nilsen.
Two mornings later and that beauty had yet to subside in the Garden State.
Pat McManus. Photo: Ricardo Jimenez.
“All the boys were getting some of these perfect lefts with the ENE swell direction, and Pat McManus was having a field day,” said Dillon Reed. “All afternoon he was fitting perfectly inside hollow lefthand barrel after hollow lefthand barrel.”
Zak Kernan. Photo: Mark Hill.
Ever wondered what the secret is to operating a successful surf shop? Step one: rip like this. Zak Kernan in between shifts at Ocean Magic Surf Shop on Florida’s Treasure Coast.
New Jersey. Photo: John Gilman.
Photographer John Gilman’s caption for this shot was elegantly accurate: “Postcard perfect.”
Raven Lundy. Photo: Ryan West
The same could be said of Raven Lundy’s Delmarva score, which had all the characteristics of that epic morning you never, ever forget.
Nohea Futrell. Photo: Woody Harris.
“I walked up to the beach and noticed several photographers all huddled together last Tuesday, so I opted to shoot this session from the parking lot standing on top of my buddy’s truck,” says lensman Woody Harris. “I’m stoked on this one of Nohea Futrell because it shows a fresh perspective of a frequently photographed spot.”
New Jersey. Photo: Tim Leopold.
Bombs away in New Jersey.
Florida. Photo: Mez.
The closest “Super Moon” in more than 60 years rose at dusk on Sunday and Monday. But all you had to do if you were on one of the fishing catwalks under the Sebastian Inlet bridge was to simply turn around to witness an equally super sunset. Let’s see what November 15th and beyond brings…
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