Ju-no It’s Firing! Swell Gallery

January 29, 2015 • Swell Gallery

Unless you’re a salty old-timer, we bet you can’t think of a better East Coast fall-winter run of waves than the one we’re currently enjoying. Consider this: before Winter Storm Juno walloped the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Monday, January 26th with heavy snow, heavier winds, and even heavier waves, much of the East Coast enjoyed a solid little spurt of weekend swell action. Today, on January 29th, residual energy from Juno’s massive storm system is impacting the Southeast and Caribbean. And guess what? Another storm looks to push off the Eastern Seaboard this weekend and into next week, delivering even more winter weather and winter waves to all pockets of our backyard.

But forget all that noise for a second, and let’s look back at the snowy tranquility of this last week. When North Carolina went off the charts (Saturday and Sunday). When Ocean City, Maryland and Ocean County, New Jersey, broke top to bottom. When Rockaway Beach and Long Beach and Lido Beach enjoyed barrels of barrels on top of barrels. When Montauk Lighthouse and Point Judith Lighthouse both reeled perfectly. When The Wall and The Washout both went all-time. When the snow fell and the cold wind blew and part-time surfers stayed home and a good chunk of the Rightside basked in as-good-as-it-gets conditions combined with as-bad-as-it-gets weather — which, of course, is the scenario that all true East Coasters love more than anything. Note the lack of people in the following photos. Note the perfect waves. Note the impassable roads and the police blockades and the towering snow banks — and note that, with enough drive and dedication, you too could surf these waves. But you have to work for them. Fight for them. Freeze for them. To the victor go the spoils, and to the diehard go the bombs.

  • Blizzards can put on many different faces: painful, brutal, and depressing while they're happening, but regal and refined when it's all over. Take this timeless view, for instance — and to think, artist/surfer John Glenn, who took up photography this year after hurting his shoulder, said it was “Not so great” in his neck of the woods. And that the “Blizzard was a bust.” We beg to differ. Photo: John Glenn
  • Remember what we said about how crazy things get in the middle of the snowstorm? This brave soul got an inside look at Rockaway Beach, NY, on Tuesday. Photo: Lou Romas
  • Maryland didn't get much snowfall from Juno, but the state's thumping beachbreaks more than made up for it in winter juice. Here's Ocean City grom Simon Hetrick on a macker that had everyone applauding his performance. “Simon is such a good kid in and out of the water,” said Delaware big buck Colin Herlihy. “He's a charger that everyone should keep their eyes on!” Photo: Kelly Hetrick
  • Shots of six-foot snowbanks are rad and all. But photographer James McGraghan blocked out that noise and kept his focus squarely on Perry Reynolds and the magical mysteries unfolding off the coast of New Hampshire on Wednesday. Photo: James McGraghan
  • As BB King would say, “You gotta pay the cost to be the boss.” Kyle Calandra (far right) got slapped with two penalties by the Bank of Long Beach Island for off-the-charts froth. But wait until you see the (successful) sequence of his colossal backside barrel — totally worth it. Photo: Dan Przygocki
  • It's nearly impossible to adequately portray the level of commitment required to score a round Rockaway Beach runway like this one. It's difficult to get to (and get into) this wave on the best of days — forget a few hours after most of New York City was completely shut down. That's when local knowledge takes over. Photo: Mike Vericker
  • The Outer Banks went Richter 48-72 hours before Juno's main impact to the north. But for guys like Dana Quinn, forecasted arrival times and emergency alerts and travel bans meant nothing in the face of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse looking this good. Photo: Derek Rohn
  • ESM's office is located on Ocean Avenue in Melbourne Beach, FL. We can't confirm the exact location of this winter wonderland, but we can confirm that it is not, in fact, Melbourne Beach, FL. Photo: Connor Halpin
  • Speaking of East Coast landmarks with the word “Ocean” in their titles, Ocean City, MD's, beachbreaks were all-time for a short window on Tuesday — and only a few hearty souls willing to wait for her to flip the switch took advantage. Photo: Tyler Layton
  • This beautiful shot is just begging for some poetic justice. So we'll let Robert Frost, who spent a good chunk of his early life in New Hampshire, take this one away: “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence/Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by/And that has made all the difference.” Photo: Brian Nevins
  • Some of the sickest footage we've seen yet of Juno's freight train barrels came from this slice of the New Jersey pie, where Tommy Ihnken and friends scored HARD. “Haven't seen this spot this good in a while,” said photographer Kyle Gronostajski. “A lot of size and wide open.” Stay tuned for more. Photo: Kyle Gronostajski
  • “Tuesday was insane,” Montauk photographer James Katsipis said. “Nothing but adventure from the moment I woke up until the moment I put my head down. I live for days like that: shooting the boys (Charlie Weimar pictured here) in a blizzard on the side of a cliff. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, even though I'm still running on coffee and granola bars.” Make sure you check out James' amazing edit on our Videos page as well. Photo: James Katsipis
  • It took an extra day for Juno's complex energy to come together in Rhode Island. Greg Levy did his part by smoothing out this unruly righthand reeler with a radical off the top. Photo: LandenSea Photos
  • “Ocean City was about as challenging as it gets due to the 30-knot side offshore winds, heavy current, and below-freezing temps,” said Colin Herlihy. “But hey — that's winter. You gotta pay to play. Raven Lundy, Tyler Balak, and Todd Elder came up this day and we poked around looking for a good sandbar. Due to the conditions, the whole stretch of coastline didn't have any takers. But we eventually found our zone.” Photo: Mike Galeone
  • Waves of snow on the beach, waves of water in the ocean, waves of clouds in the sky... This one should be a wall-hanger. Photo: Ryan Mack
  • Same for this one, as a view never gets old: it appeals to hardcore surfers, who see the chance at the empty barrel of a lifetime. It appeals to mainstream Americans, who still somehow seem shocked at the thought of people surfing in the snow. And it appeals to artists of all disciplines, who immediately recognize its solemn beauty. Photo: James Parascandola
  • “NEWS FLASH,” we hear many of you saying. “There were waves in New Jersey even before Juno hit.” We hear your concerns, dear readers, and we sympathize. Pat Parenty does too. Photo: Max Korn
  • If you think New Jersey, New York, and New England pack endless winter surf possibilities, guess what happens when you turn your eye a little to the north. “I've been working on a new surf film and haven't been shooting too many photos,” said Canadian photographer (or should we say cinematographer?) Mike Bromley. “I did rattle off a couple from this last swell, though...” Which means that this is what it looks like to just “rattle off” a few shots. Photo: Mike Bromley
  • Remember, it takes a few thousand imperfect moments to deliver every perfect one you see. Just ask Carter McCoy: “I like all the shots I took this swell, but this one was taken mid-storm while there was still a travel blockade in place, and I almost got blown off a 10-foot wall to get it. So I think I like this one a little bit more.” Photo: Carter McCoy
  • “Hey, look, there were waves all the way down in Southern North Carolina earlier this week. And, hey, they look pretty damn fun — actually really fun. Where is this? Who is this?” We know as little as you do, and we're just as intrigued. Photo: Jason Long
  • You might look at this photo and say, “There's no way he made it!” But this is Sam Hammer, and that line he's taking is perfect, and damn that's a beautiful wave, and rumor is there might be a sequence... So, yeah, let's go ahead and say he made it. Photo: Max Krumpholz
  • There are certain perks that come with holding down a job in the surf industry. This is one of them. Glide Surf Company owner Phil Browne takes advantage. Photo: Tim Leopold
  • Speaking of taking advantage, Travis Beckmann (he's in there, look closely) and a small group of Montauk diehards did their best to get lost in the eye of Juno, travel bans and bum ankles be damned. Their fortitude paid off in empty barrels — and even a little love from CNN. Photo: Bartholomew Schwarz
  • “For the most part, I shot everyone's second session, and the froth was through the roof during those three and a half hours,” said New Jersey photographer Chris Boice. “I hadn't been so lucky lately to witness some stunning waves, great surfing by guys like Andrew Gesler, and beautiful lighting, and Tuesday night provided it all. Hopefully there is more in store this week.” Photo: Chris Boice
  • Hardcore surfers probably snicker when they hear their snowboarding brethren howling about “Fresh pow!” But this photo makes it easy to recognize the allure of an untouched slope. Photo: Andrew Mead
  • We saw a few different versions of this Long Island sunset captured by a few different photographers on Tuesday night — and this was the clear standout. Red sky at night, surfer's delight, right? Until the next storm! Photo: Dylan Kennedy

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