As most people are busy cleaning up and assessing the damage left by Sandy, surfers are taking advantage of the heavy seas to get their adrenaline fix.
From South Florida to New York’s Rockaway Beach, surfers grabbed their boards and wetsuits – both before and after the storm – to rip it up on waves that were anywhere between 5 feet high to almost double overhead.
Florida’s Atlantic Coast was mostly spared from Sandy’s wrath, so southern surfers were able to enjoy the aftereffects of the storm, i.e. huge waves. In Florida’s Palm Beach, pro surfers Kelly Slater, Shea Lopez and others used jet skis to haul themselves into the 15-foot surf at a spot called Pumphouse.
The scary thing about that wave is it breaks right in front of a jetty...Then you get pushed into one of the deepest inlets on the coast. There were big fish and bigger sharks all around us.
- Shea Lopez, Professional Surfer
Known as tow-in surfing and developed in the Hawaiian Islands in the mid-1990s as a way to surf waves that were too big to paddle into, surfers grab on to a tow-line attached to the back of a jet ski or other form of personal watercraft and are literally towed at high speed into a massive wave.
Tow-in surfing has become popular in big wave surf spots such as Maverick’s in Northern California, Jaws in Hawaii and Cloudbreak in Fiji, but jet skis are rarely used for surfing on the East Coast because the waves never get to the height or speed required for tow-in surfing….that is until a superstorm hits.
Surfers were not the only people testing their limits as Sandy churned along the East Coast. Kitesurfers Rob Douglas and Damien LeRoy used the high winds off the coast of Massachusetts’ Martha’s Vineyard to catch high speed rides and big airs.
Read more - - SURF SANDY