Long Beach, New York. Photo: Nelson
Long Beach, New York. Photo: Nelson

Behind The Photo: Goodbye, Lemoore, Hello, Long Beach

Photographer Mike Nelson keeps his eyes to the east as Jose sends pumping surf through New York

“It’s crazy how much swell we’re having,” New York’s Balaram Stack told us yesterday, as Hurricane Jose continues to send solid surf throughout the northeast. Some regions — Stack’s Long Beach was one — saw winds tone down, finessing those giant wash-through sets into beautiful A-frames, like the above stunner taken by photographer Mike Nelson.

“It was the best New York I’ve seen in years,” said Stack.

“Long Beach was on fire all day long,” added New Jersey’s Sam Hammer, who joined Stack, Pat Schmidt, Kurt Rist, and others yesterday afternoon at the above stretch of coastline. “There were rippable waves all day. Then, like clockwork, the tide changed, and so did the waves. It got good and hollow really quick. It’s all bittersweet, though, thinking about the Caribbean getting the brunt of these storms again.”

Nelson has worked at a non-stop pace over the last few weeks to document the swell pushed by both Irma and Jose. And he likely won’t get a break just yet. Forecasts show that Jose might swing back down toward the southeast and extend pumping surf along the East Coast through next week.

“Jose has been sending swell for a few days now, but yesterday, it really turned on,” says Nelson. “It got quite a bit bigger and the wind swung around offshore. This stretch of beach was picking up way more swell than other beaches in the area, where most of the top dogs were on it. It was going off for a few hours before dark.”