(Photo by Andreea Waters)

“Being a surfer on the East Coast and hearing the phrase 'historic blizzard' is similar to Christmas,” said Sean Ryan. Surfing in New York is mad. It is inconsistent, hard to access, best waves are in the winter and it is cold. But when it’s good, it’s really good.

Juno was a sweet surprise, “Rockaway hadn't had a solid swell in a few months so when the low pressure system popped up on the forecast, all eyes were on it,” Michael Reinhardt said. The night before we were planning our wave hunting adventure, all depending on winds and snow fall. Driving seemed tricky so staying local was the call. I live an hour away from Rockaway Beach, when the traffic ban was lifted I was on the road. Every time I cross the bridge onto the peninsula I smile and have an anxious feeling of what the ocean will look and feel like that day. As a photographer I savor the surprise of first walking on the beach. Each storm has its light, wave shape, texture and story. Juno had a crisp, raw shine with playful energy and an intense feel of winter surf survival.

Surfer: Sean Ryan

Paul Schmidt described his morning with Juno: "The first wave I took was 3-4' over my head, and I'm 6'3". Struggling to get into the wave, I paddled against a gust of offshore wind and sea spray pelting my face and into my eyes. I made the steep drop, started to pivot into the face, but stuck a rail turning at the bottom of the tough, and was sucked up and over the falls. A real beating ensued! Gasping for air a few seconds later, I came up to another, comparably sized swell, and had to duck under again. That's some cold water. I can honestly say I wasn't exactly prepared for the size we were getting yesterday morning. If I had been, I wouldn't have slept so well.”

"Juno was one of those swells that offered solid surf all day and by morning it’s completely gone” said Michael Kololyan. This is typical for East Coast surfing which makes days like this that much more special. We are addicted to checking the wave forecasts and weather patterns in hopes to see a storm and wind direction line up on horizon.

Photos and words by Andreea Waters. Surfers pictured: Michael Reinhardt, Michael Kololyan, Paul Schmidt, Sean Ryan.