For much of early October, 2014 the Atlantic basin had remained relatively quiet, and frankly most of us were starting to get a bit cranky. After all, we had been relatively spoiled by a pretty darned consistent run of good swell events dating back to Hurricane Arthur on July 3rd, and well, we wanted more!
What we got instead was a minor disturbance here or there, but nothing of consequence from late Septmeber into those first days of October. Sometime in the second week however, the models started to show a little something-something – and sure enough, late in the day on October 12th, TS Gonzalo got himself organized deep in the caribbean. For the next several days he took his time, gained some strength, and set his sites on a course for Bermuda. And while that was not a good thing for the beautiful British Island, it was just about perfect for delivering east coast hurricane swell from Puerto Rico to Maine – which is exactly what he did!
By Friday October 18th, Gonzalo was a Cat 3 just south of Bermuda, and all of NY, NJ and for that matter PA or any other state within driving distance was on alert and loading up their cars with boards and friends and more boards and friends and making plans for a Jersey run. The forecast models all agreed and everyone knew it: We were in for an event of west winds, solid swell, sunshine, warm water and plenty of company.
What followed was perhaps one of the more…ahem….interesting days of Jersey surf many of us have ever witnessed, as cars and trucks unloaded onto the beaches and into the lineups. What they found there (besides the crowds) however, was that Gonzalo wasn't about to give up the goods quite so easily: The swell was big enough alright, but the waves were fast, closey and required more than a little patience and skill. But for those with the patience and the skill, the payoff was tremendous, and won't soon be forgotten. Of course, neither will the beatings!
Here's some of our favorites from our friends on Instagram – click through and give them all a follow! And of course, don't forget to follow us as well —> http://instagram.com/nynjsurf
Above left: Mike Gleason showing how it's done, Jersey Style. Photocredit: Seth Stafford via Epic Shirt's facebook page.
Bonus: Congrats to the Manasquan High School Surf Team on their first State Championship! Sunday, October 19th, 2014!
Double Bonus: Our great friend Logan Kamen and Share the Stoke Foundation's "Groms Take Over" Event in Belmar went off on Sunday, October 19th and was a HUGE success! Stoked groms had a beach cleanup, a surf clinic and contest, and more! 5 lucky groms left with Firewire Surfboards and there were tons of other giveaways as the Groms took over 16th Avenue Beach! The amazing Mary Dunham of Shore Shot Images was there to capture it all. Here's a couple of shots:
Click here for the full Shore Shot Images gallery —-> http://shoreshotimages.zenfolio.com/p1003718775
….and for more on the event, click here —-> http://sharethestokefoundation.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/groms-take-over/
All in all, an amazing weekend on our east facing beaches up and down the Jersey Shore. Hoping for more soon before the weather and water cool off too much. See y'all out there next time!
— Will Hallett http://instagram.com/nynjsurf