Andreea Waters has been documenting the surfers of Rockaway Beach since 2012. In her new photobook [Surf NYC]( http://www.amazon.com/Surf-NYC-Andreea-Waters/dp/0764350293/?tag=viewingnyc-20?tag=viewingnyc-20 Waters captures the spirit of the New York City surfer in all seasons, but the Winter shots really stand out.
Follow dedicated wave hunters to the end of the A-train and beyond and peek into this passionate way of life through authentic photography and several surfers’ personal journeys. Discover what it takes to brave the cold Atlantic Ocean and get a fresh insight on the Big Apple’s hidden surf subculture. An adventurous photographer has developed relationships with local surfers, absorbed scarcely available knowledge about the ocean and climate, and placed herself in these elements without reservation.
Surf NYC is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
Winter surfers in New York City at Rockaway Beach
Waters photographed a number of New York beaches during the winter season, including Rockaway Beach, Montauk, Long Beach, and Lido Beach.
At these beaches, temperatures can get down to the lower 30s even on a sunny day.
While that might not sound too inviting, it's a well-known fact that the best waves come during the winter season. In the winter months, "You only find the brave and experienced [surfers]," Waters said.
"In the winter, the ocean changes its mood. You can feel it," Waters said. "For most, it is uninviting."
For her book, Waters interviewed 13 surfers about what it's like to surf in New York.
"Surfers are an anomaly in the city where most people are more interested in dousing themselves in martinis than salt water," Ashley Wood said. "For those of us who choose to live by the tides, though, surfing in NYC provides the ultimate combination of cultured life and catching waves."
Waters believes that to surf the New York winters, "You have to have a little stormy madness in your soul." You also need to be well-trained, both mentally and physically, to keep up with the waves.
Tony Farmer was one of three surfers riding waves at Rockaway Beach during a Nor'easter storm in December of 2014. Waters rushed out to document the surfers and caught this image of Farmer riding a 10 to 12-foot wave. "He rode it all the way," she said. "It was one of those magic moments."
To catch New York waves, Waters claims you have to have a "surf forecasting addiction." "It gives you hope and despair, as waves here are inconsistent, and winds are fickle," she said.
Tyler Breuer, a New York City surfer and owner of the Sundown Ski and Surf Shop in Long Island, wrote the foreword for Waters' book. "There is something primal about being a surfer in this part of the world. We tap into the hunter-gatherer state of mind," he wrote.
"I've often thought that your West Coast brethren surfers are more domesticated and enjoy an agricultural sort of attitude towards surfing," Breuer said. "The waves are more abundant and seem to be on tap all the time ... they've never lived through a three-month flat spell over the summer."
"If you ever dropped into a perfect wave, yet complained about the falling snow blurring your vision, then you know what it's like to surf in New York," Sean Kittle said.
When it comes to catching the waves, Breuer said, "We risk everything, just so we don't hear those famous words: 'You should have been here an hour ago.'"