The start to 2010 hasn't been great on the East Coast. While we clicked our way through galleries of Todos Santos and Hawaiian videos, the first few weeks of the year were frigid, flat, and freaking miserable. There was a brief respite early last week. But in that time, the water temps plummeted everywhere. The Gulf of Mexico was down to 49. Those poor Southern boys were really shaken.
And when the surf finally does come up, it's always nice (after a long period of inactivity) to wrap yourself up in a neoprene straight jacket and try to surf. But this week, we had a legitimate south with raging weather on Monday and a pretty glorious clean up Tuesday. No holiday theme or pretty snow shots. Surf was anywhere from shoulder high to a few feet overhead. There was some swell period behind this one, which meant some of the beachbreaks were pick and choose, but if you knew where to look, you could find it.
Check this video of Mike Gleason, who came back from Hawaii to surf barrels with his buds.
And once in the water, you had little to worry about in the way of crowds. Frigid water has a way of thinning out the herd. For some cold, hard facts on the East Coast's water temp, check out Rutgers University Sea Surface Temp data (especially if you're one of those guys who wears a hood at Sunset Cliffs.) Water in the Outer Banks is in the high 30s, which is rare. It's about the same in New Jersey. For some reason, there's a little collection of balmy 40 degree water around Cape Cod.
"The water was 40.1 yesterday. With the 45-degree air, it felt like it was at least 40.7," joked photographer, Luke Simpson, of Cape Cod.
It gives you a new respect for guys like Matt Lusk, Luke Simpson, Nick Lavecchia, Rich McMullin, and the other handful of guys who shoot in the water through these icy months. Might be a little bump this weekend, but it's supposed to get, er -- cold.