Presented By Our Friends Of The Porpoise At WRV https://www.waveridingvehicles.com
All Photos and Captions by Mike Voucolo @mikesshoreshots
For the first time in six years we endured a full New Jersey Winter. While the Corona Virus Pandemic was unfolding last year we rode it out in our central Florida comfortable condo climate just a few short miles north of Sebastian Inlet as the northeast started to shut down public places and overflow hospitals with those falling victim to this dreaded disease.
When first South Swells of Spring arrive in northern Ocean County they interact with a shoreline sculpted by winter’s predominant drift in the opposite direction. The result is these mechanical peelers that seem to always catch everyone off guard.
Pandemic related health restrictions kept me away from my toasty Brevard County winter get-a-way this year, relegating me to chasing waves in the frigid air and water temps of central Jersey for more than a dozen weeks.
Fresh off a plane after an extended North Shore visit this winter, Brielle NJ’s Cole Deveney prefers to remain in the air as long as possible.
While the Atlantic Hurricane season pumped waves to the mid-Atlantic with a record of 30 named storms that gobbled up the letters of two alphabets, winter arrived not to be out done by the tropical treats. Swells continued on a near regular schedule and proceeded to carve away newly constructed dunes and replenished beaches on most of central Jersey’s coast.
Watching Sam Hammer’s surfing is like seeing the ultimate fusion of style, precision and power. If he was a boardwalk amusement ride I’d pay to watch and photograph him.
And when Spring arrived last week most rejoiced that the evil winter of 2021 had ended, even though the Winter of 2020 seemed much more uncertain. After all, this year we had vaccines and toilet paper which were nearly impossible to find just a year ago. Spring brought Jersey air temps of 83 last week and Atlantic waters rose 12 degrees. As the first true south swells arrived the redirected sandbars offer some sense of adventure with swells going off in some unexpected locations.
Like putting up awnings and taking down storm windows, another rite of Jersey Shore spring is seeing last seasons dead palm trees removed from Jenkinson’s Beach and being reduced to a pile of perfect bonfire material to make way for a new trailer truck load of fresh, leafy green tropically indigenous ones to plant before Memorial Day weekend.
A dozen days in the middle of March bookended the two seasons of epic waves and performances as the roar of the winter lion surf gave way to the gentler, but highly rippable, spring lamb swell season with summer but a few sort months away. – Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots –
Caroline Duerr powering a cutback at Manasquan Inlet.
Monmouth County 12 year old Grom Finn Holloway has some moves honed in his basement skateboard bowl.
Big Man from across the river Shayne Boyle muscles a turn at Ocean County Line.
Boyle, stylish both in and out of the water, ridin’ around with the car top down and the radio on like right out of a a Springsteen song. Point Pleasant Beach.
First day of Spring 2021 arrives with a picturesque oceanscape in Point Pleasant Beach.
Brian Robinson knows how to get his homegrown surf craft in the right places in Point Pleasant Beach.
Another ritual of spring in recent years is the recent return of nesting American Oyster Catchers near Manasquan Inlet something that was thought lost to man’s near total encroachment of the area.
Another 12 year old Monmouth Grom and Brave New World Team Rider Gavin Mitchell and his boost are dwarfed by the mighty Manasquan Inlet Jetty.
Jamie Contreras smooth as ever on a mid-legnth slice.
Need to get your spot on the beach on the first day of spring. These two thought it was an added bonus to get to snap some surf photos and not get charged 20 bucks for parking and $10 for a beach badge.
Kevin O’Connor bustin’ the fins at Jenk’s, in decidedly non-winter looking water color, where he put’s in a top performance whenever he paddles out.
Men In Black: Speaking of color, Heaven help me if I have difficulty identifying someone in a photo but, frankly, the standard winter issue rubber, hoods and white boards can make it a challenge.
When NJ Surfing Hall of fame 2021 Nominee Sam Hammer smacks it, you can hear it all the way up to the Boardwalk snackbar grill at Jenks while your eating a sausage and peppers sandwich.
Although sand was pumped all along the coast to provide storm protection one good December blow revealed the old erosion groins that were covered up like these at Mount Street, Bay Head.
And, after a gazillions of dollars have been spent the past two years to rebuild Jersey’s beaches and improve public access, you now need to bring a 6 foot step ladder along with your chairs and umbrellas to get on and off some Ocean County area beaches.