"The act of surfing, the experience as a whole, defies description," Tony Farmer tells me. "More often than not, thoughtful introspection digresses into hippy-dippy cornball existentialism, 'That moment where you lose yourself and find yourself at the same time' Bodhi-isms. Thing is, it's all true. It just sounds ridiculous."
Farmer has been one of many local surfers enjoying to larger waves over the past couple of weeks—"I surfed today," he told me over the weekend, "and it was fucking Magic; big and stormy, a little wonky but plenty of juicy nuggets... See? I sound like a bleeding imbecile. But it's true. I cannot truly convey what surfing is or what it means to me. Very few can. I daresay William Finnegan paints it perfectly, poetically even, in his recent memoir Barbarian Days. Read that. It's fucking Magic, too.”
New York just got weeks of consistent, solid surf. The swell cleared the line up, with only the brave and experienced. No jokes, no foamies. Liquid walls, hollow drops, ocean size and currents that sweep you in minutes. Surfed out in the city has a whole new meaning.
“I can’t remember the last time we had solid chest high and bigger surf everyday," Michael Kololyan said. "It’s been twelve days in the row for me—which is practically unheard of arounds these parts of town. How do I feel about this swell? Noodle arms.”
This time the West is looking at the East Coast Surfline cameras wishing they were here. I got to photograph the beauty in the madness, document the feeling and share it with the surfers. The creative conversations, the fleeting perfect moments, the salty intoxication.
These photos were all taken at Rockaway Beach and Long Beach by Andreea Waters, a NY-based photographer and writer.