Hurricane Joaquin Swell Gallery Part 2

October 7, 2015 • Swell Gallery

Wow. Just wow. Do we really need to say anything else? After the slowest hurricane season in recent memory, the combination of Hurricane Joaquin, a frontal trough in the western Atlantic, one low pressure off the Southeast coast and another in the Gulf of Mexico, plus a high pressure cell off the Northeast coast delivered the most epic run of surf in recent memory — particularly in Florida, which after several months of near-flatness has been in the four- to six-foot and Good-Epic range for the better part of two weeks now. Nearly every other corner of the East Coast has had its own moments of brilliance, although it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows: the Bahamas absorbed a direct hit from Joaquin, historic flooding devastated portions of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have battled nonstop onshore winds, and it took several days for things to finally come together in the Northeast. But when they did? Well, just have a look below, and stay tuned for more later this week, and in our November issue, and by clicking here and here… Now, if you’re still in one piece, remember to thank the wave gods because the last few weeks have been something special in our neck of the woods.

  • “Took a field trip to North Florida during Hurricane Joaquin with nothing but a hunch and a $20 underwater disposable camera,” photographer Michael Kilcullen said. “Definitely got a couple of funny looks from the folks carrying $1000+ in camera gear — definitely got a couple of shots they didn’t too. Here’s one of Carter Michael doing some window-shopping with full intentions to buy.” Photo: Michael Kilcullen
  • The boost, the light, the clouds, the composition... Kyle Abel and JP O'Brien nailed it in New Jersey with this one as they awaited the arrival of Joaquin's full force last Friday. Photo: JP O'Brien
  • Sure, it took a few days for everything to come together in New England. But once it finally did, Hurricane Joaquin paid some serious righthand dividends. Jamie Risser would certainly say it was worth the wait. Photo: Steve Melidossian
  • Cody Thompson was most often captured experimenting with a million different air variations during Joaquin, all in the name of crafting a submission to Jeff Crego's new Airborn Surf #huckandhack video contest. Looks like it only took Cody one try to nail the #hack part, too. Photo: Keith Novosel
  • Virginia Beach was inundated by persistent onshore winds and nasty weather throughout most of Joaquin's swell. But a few glimpses of oceanfront beauty were still on offer in between the storm clouds. Photo: Billy Ficke
  • “Yesterday was the first real showing of proper swell in Canada, and Logan Landry and Zack Humphreys were on it,” said photographer Mike Bromley. “This morning was also pretty fun but a little wonky.” Give us that much — thanks to an insane run of surf produced by Joaquin and all the low pressures, high pressures, and frontal boundaries associated with it, we're allowed to finally be picky for once. Photo: Mike Bromley
  • Go ahead and pinch yourself — early mornings in Central Florida have looked just like this for nearly two weeks. “I'm not going to lie — I've mostly been surfing, not shooting,” Central Florida photographer Morgan Grosskreutz said last week. “But Creighton Trott did get the shot.” Photo: Morgan Grosskreutz
  • Hard to believe that North Carolina actually played second fiddle to Florida’s headlining role during this run of swell — as Surfline Chief Meteorologist Mark Willis said, “Overall, the Outer Banks have been in one of the longer periods of predominantly unfavorable winds we can remember for some time.” But Tar Heel natives like Mike Zeiner are used to waiting out weeks of nor’easter conditions for that one little window of glassy bowls. And when it arrives, all aggression is unleashed. Photo: Anthony Leone
  • South Carolina photographer Justin Morris affirmed the fact that the Palmetto State saw tons of rain with lots of flooding at Folly Beach and all over Charleston — and, naturally, not the best conditions to shoot in (hence the black and white). But that didn't stop him from linking up with Central Florida native and Charleston Surf Lessons owner Josh Wilson, who recommended that Morris get down to the Sunshine State as fast as he could. Can't wait to see those shots, sir. Photo: Justin Morris
  • If you follow St. Augustine, FL, photographer Cody Coleman on Instagram, you know how hard the guy works to capture the most epic natural light available. After a summer of experimentation, Cody is dialed in and raising the bar by getting surfers like Andrew Gregorie to match his beautiful compositions with equally beautiful high action. We're pretty sure there's much more where this came from. Photo: Cody Coleman
  • “This is from Tuesday's morning session, when I shot a pretty well known New Jersey break in a unique way,” says Monmouth County photographer Kyle Arc. “I took this from two miles away — and then used a Tower Viewer to produce a super trippy depth of field.” But from this distance, something about a panoramic view (with Manhattan in the background) can flat out take your breath away. Photo: Kyle Arc
  • When a scenario like the one the East Coast has enjoyed for the last two weeks sets up, half the fun comes from seeking out new landscapes. New Jersey surfer Tommy Ihnken and Massachusetts photographer James McGraghan split the difference somewhere in New England — and straight up score. Photo: James McGraghan
  • CJ Hobgood took a breather at home on the Space Coast before heading to France for the Quiksilver Pro — which oddly enough will see a burst of swell from none other than Tropical Storm Joaquin over the next few of days. Funny how things work out that way. Photo: Janis Carole
  • Speaking of well-traveled pros jetting back to the East Coast at the first sign of Hurricane Joaquin's favorable track, South Florida native Oliver Kurtz did the Cape Hatteras boogie with Fisher Heverly and friends last week before heading south to sample the Sunshine State's juice. Something tells us there are a few high-flying frames hanging around from that trip, too. Photo: Colin Breland
  • Conor Willem is a hard guy to pin down, but there's one thing we know about this hardcore LBI local — he loves lefthand barrels. Give him four additional feet, 10 more mph of winds, and air temps at least 30 degrees colder and he'll really feel right at home. Photo: Max Krumpholz
  • After all, who needs sunshine when you can embrace moodiness like this? New York flashing her favorite fall face, which probably erupted in a beautiful sunset smile after the clouds parted. Photo: TJ Boegle
  • Justin O'Rourke, crouching tiger and hidden dragon on a beautiful Central Florida canvas. Photo: Steve Clark
  • Hurricane Joaquin took a northeast turn last week, sparing the East Coast from a direct hit. But plenty of areas saw severe impacts, from historic rains and destructive flooding across large swaths of South Carolina to localized downpours and dangerous tidal surges in Ben Graeff's South Jersey hood. Here's hoping everyone affected over the last few days is finally safe and sound with all services restored — remember that saltwater glory this time of year usually comes with a price paid by somebody. Photo: Matt Ciancaglini
  • Central Florida's Chris Duff rolled the dice and headed south last week in search of hidden treasure. And after finding it, Chris spent as much time gorging himself as possible. Photo: Adam Byerly
  • The satisfied look on Zack Dayton's face says it all: New York (and the whole East Coast), about as fun as it gets — and with no boots, gloves, or hoods, either! Photo: Justin Burkle
  • We try hard to spread the love in these swell galleries, always avoiding running the same surfer in two back-to-back posts if we can. But in the case of Jeremy Johnston, dude just nailed so many sick photos that we simply couldn't resist. Feel the spray on your face from this one, or go back and scope his boned-out backside air from last week's And So It Begins... feature if you're upset. Photo: John Gilman
  • Something tells us that a photo of a guy standing this tall on a wave this good wouldn't go unidentified for long — and it didn't. Justin Perry, stand up and grab that credit. Photo: Joanne O'Shaughnessy
  • There are a few coveted angles in the water photography world: first, the inside looking out perspective — bonus points to lensman Kevin Englehardt for the sun filtering through the top of the wave, the crystalline lip letting in a little blue sky, and the jaw-dropping textures that will keep your eye busy for hours. Photo: Kevin Engelhardt
  • The underneath looking up perspective might be even more coveted, though — and even more difficult to nail. Brad Domke parked himself in the perfect place on this one, but Nathaniel Harrington put in the hard yards to make just about every other technical aspect come to vivid life, all before taking a solid set wave on the head. How about a round of applause for the photogs who make all of this possible? Photo: Nathaniel Harrington
  • But when it comes to sick lineups, user-friendly perfection will send any surfer into a frothed-out tizzy. North Florida, perfect tide, perfect light, perfect wind, and (for most of us) perfect size. Stay tuned on Friday for much more... Photo: Cody Coleman

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