Snow flurries, air temperature hitting 28 degrees and snow piled up on the ground from the first storm of the year. Typically this would be the call to be heading to the mountains to make some turns in the freshies that mother nature just dropped, but this trip was to the coast of Massachusetts. Surfing in Massachusetts?! Why yes. . .
As I drove into this historic fishing town nestled in northern Massachusetts I met up with my great friend Johnny O’Hara. Johnny O, a full fledged local, has spent many years chasing waves here. Every spot we visited we were greeted by surfers in the water and others suiting up for the day. Now keep in mind it was considered a balmy day for New England standards as the water was in the upper 40’s.
After checking numerous spots and waiting for the tide to fill in, Johnny O. gave me the nod and we began the process of getting ready. And a process it was, by the time we were dressed I was sweating as if I just came out of a hot yoga class, but we were ready to take to the water. We removed our winter hats, put on our hoods and 7mm mittens, left the warmth of the van and into the winter wonderland.
The paddle out was an adventure in itself, with the tide coming in we only had a short walk to a small estuary flatwater area. We had about a 5 minute paddle out with the current slowly dragging us while the swell came in. As we made it to the ocean, the area was littered with seaweed covered rocks, boiling and disappearing upon each set rolling in, making for a strategic paddle out.
As the snow flurries started coming down and the surfers started paddling out I took a seat on my board and embraced the moment. It was a surreal sight, something in all my years of living in New England that I have never witnessed before. Just like surfing in California or Florida the faces all looked the same, ear-to-ear smiles. The only difference was that we were surfing in Massachusetts.
It was just another day surfing for the crew in the water, but for me, this experience will forever change how I view surfing and living in different parts of the country. No matter the conditions, we all love being out on the water and will do whatever it takes to get out there. With technology now assisting us and making the gear way more user friendly it is allowing us to follow our hearts no matter where we live. So next time a cold front passes through the area and that feeling that calls us to the water, don’t be afraid to go. Find the right gear and a partner in crime and get out on the water, because once you are done that smile is something words will never be able to describe!
by Jeramie Vaine