December Delight Swell Gallery

December 12, 2014 • Swell Gallery

“Hello, winter!” That’s what surfers from deep in the Caribbean’s bowls to far northern New England were screaming last week when the biggest nor’easter of the season was generated right off the East Coast, thanks to strong high pressure over New England and a low pressure over the Western Atlantic that combined to send solid surf to every corner of our backyard. But you don’t need us to tell you how good it was. You got barreled. You did huge turns. You spent all night scouring swell charts trying to decide where to go. And if you didn’t get as lucky as the surfers pictured here, well, you got to soak it all up on social media. Let’s just say the holidays came a little early for the East Coast this year — wonder if we can pack another fantastic swell in before the New Year hits?

  • While much of the Outer Banks were getting rocked by this week's nor'easter — ocean overwash, severe beach erosion, flooding, structural damage, loss of phone and Internet service — spots a little north looked as glorious as could be. Photo: Billy Ficke
  • “Juno Pier was on fire yesterday,” said photographer Adam Byerly. “I shot Fisher and Kieran Grant all day. So many shots. Unreal.” Photo: Adam Byerly
  • Sam Hammer, boosting at home on December 10th before boogieing north to try his hand at slabbier fare. Photo: Griffin Lotz
  • Raven Lundy is a boss when it comes to being in the right place at the right time for East Coast swells. This week was no different. Photo: Eddie Compo
  • Long Beach, NY, kingpin Mike Nelson is a man of few words. Somehow, this shot requires even less explanation. Photo: Mike Nelson
  • Unknown at Reef Road. Think all that hype was warranted? Photo: Gunner Hughes
  • Hard to believe Michael Dunphy was just in Hawaii the other day, battling the world's best for Backdoor bombs (and a spot in the 2015 Top 34). But the prospect of this swell detonating in the Outer Banks was too much for Dunphy to pass up, so he flew home to unleash a few detonations of his own. Stay tuned to next issue of ESM for an in-depth Dunphy profile. Photo: Mickey McCarthy
  • It took a day or so for this low pressure system to lift into Maine's swell window. But the Pine Tree State finally turned on — to an audience of zero — yesterday. Photo: Nick LaVecchia
  • We're working on a new screenplay — it's called Moody In Maryland. Location shoots taking place throughout the winter. Photo: Nick Denny
  • Ready for something to break that cold, gray monotony? Juan Carlos “Burger” Gerena has your answer in Puerto Rico. Photo: Kenny Krowel
  • Leave your growing old jokes at the door: Kyle Garson's still got plenty of pep in his step. Photo: Dugan
  • "It's on here,” read the subject line of Daniel Stockdale's Dominican Republic dispatch. “Nice to see Zion Balbuena back in the water after a scary, nasty motorcycle accident. He did pull into this one and almost make it out. Best part is, this swell doesn't fade until the weekend.” Photo: Daniel Stockdale
  • Isn't Clay Pollioni's spray just begging for big comic book-style “POW!” above it? Photo: Chris Zeh
  • Who is that masked man? Oh, just ESM Sales Executive Phil Lutz shaking off the office dust and tapping back into the source. And we mean waaaay back. Photo: Adams
  • “A crew of us drove south thinking that somewhere in North Jersey was going to be doing its thing,” said Delaware native and current NYC resident Joey Dwyer. “However, when we got there, the winds were not easing up out of the northwest, so we raced back to NY, which was definitely the right call. Empty peaks up and down Long Island.” Photo: Joey Dwyer
  • Pumphouse in Palm Beach put on its finest face since Hurricane Sandy plowed through more than two years ago. Photo: Mez
  • “We kind of got stiffed down around Wilmington with this swell,” said photographer Jake Zlotnick. “Here's one of Justin Parr from Monday at Masonboro. After that, the swell was super long period and the high tide completely destroyed it.” Photo: Jake Zlotnick
  • What's Mike Gleason doing in Massachusetts? The better question is, what were you doing still at home complaining about how this swell wasn't as perfect as you'd hoped? Risk = reward. Photo: Luke Simpson
  • Over the course of three days, Cody Coleman sent us shots from Reef Road, from Mayport Poles, and from a few secret spots in between. In case you don't know Florida, that's a lot of driving. Asher Nolan was happy to take the wheel. Photo: Cody Coleman
  • Texturally and colorfully speaking, Brian Robinson loved every minute of this swell in New Jersey. Photo: Dave Nilsen
  • “Dude.” “Dude.” “I think we should paddle out.” Decisions, decisions in Rhode Island. Photo: James McGraghan
  • “There was more than just barrel riding going on at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Wednesday,” said photographer Jon Carter. “Visiting Californian Chase Wilson was showing off his rail game, too.” Photo: Jon Carter
  • South Beach in Miami, FL, rarely gets huge. But on the right swell, it sure does get magical. Photo: Adams
  • “Kinda got skunked,” said Montauk photographer James Katsipis. “The rest of Long Island fired, but it was the wrong directions for us at the tip. Couple bombs, but sort of all over the place. Looks like South Florida was all time. I was completely jealous.” Photo: James Katsipis
  • Space Coast shaper Sammy Barker enjoyed the best possible R&D imaginable this week. How's that rail holding, Sammy? Photo: Dugan
  • A couple of weeks ago, Randy Townsend was tanning in the Dominican Republic. My, how times can change. Photo: Kyle Gronostajski
  • Brad Flora, high and tight at home in Ocean City, MD. Photo: Nick Tribuno
  • A dedicated local crew has been dissecting this freakish South Florida wave for decades. Hardcore Central Florida adherent Matt Kechele has been driving down for almost as long. So everybody involved was ready to get wrapped up in Pumphouse's embrace. Photo: Mez
  • Is it just us or does New England resist the hype heaped on swells like these with impressive restraint? In Florida, North Carolina, or New Jersey, there'd be 100 guys in this lineup — and 20 of 'em would be going for the wave that these three let pass without a glance. Photo: Trevor Murphy
  • Chauncey Robinson started his week with a Volcom Seacow Surf Series victory in New Smyrna Beach, then followed it up with marathon sessions in the best run of waves to hit Brevard County this fall. Not bad. Photo: Adams
  • Up? Down? Left? Right? Backside? Frontside? Sterling King got all sorts of twisted around by this week's swell. Photo: Bob Hovey
  • The siren song of this South Florida swell was just too much to resist for South Carolina photographer Justin Morris. Try saying that five times fast. Photo: Justin Morris
  • When you were 12, were you packing bombs in full neoprene regalia? Laird Myers may not be old enough to start road tripping to the Outer Banks from his Virginia Beach home. But he's sure got one up on the rest of the pre-teen crowd. Photo: Kristen Myers
  • Devon Tresher does his best Jeffrey's Bay impression — in South freakin' Florida. Photo: Kris Kerr
  • Meanwhile, things got a little heavy in South Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Sean Steger
  • Gulf Coasters like Sterling Foster drop everything when the East Coast of Florida lights up. Looks like Sterling dropped a little something extra during this Cocoa Beach Pier session. Photo: Dugan
  • Photographer Pat Nolan came through with the understatement of the month: “Scored some fun ones in Central NJ today with Brendan Tighe.” Perhaps Nolan and crew were just in awe at what was going on up north in New York and down south in Florida. Photo: Pat Nolan
  • Speaking of, a truly million-dollar view in Palm Beach, FL. Photo: Adams
  • Could two photos possibly be more different? It isn't officially winter until December 21st — and it isn't unofficially winter until the East Coast gets a good blizzard swell. This one only delivered a light dusting to get us in the holiday spirit. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

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