Overhead, Barreling, Frozen

A surf check in the great white Northeast

It doesn’t really matter what the period, swell direction, or wind is doing when it’s that cold, does it? Prime swell conditions did align recently in the Northeast and Canada, but they arrived during the coldest spell of the season, and a fun surf filtered into bays, sounds, and inlets that were entirely frozen. The results were these lineups of slush-peelers, clean and overhead surf fit only for actual sleds. Frigid? Yes. Frozen? Yes. But, barreling! Mike Bromley and James Katsipis braved the cold to snap some shots of the sight. More info in the captions below.

Photo: Bromley

“What you’re looking at here is a lineup in Nova Scotia, Canada. This entire bay was frozen. The waves were solid ice and slush, but it was still legitimately a few feet overhead and barreling. I’ve seen frozen waves before around these parts, but not nearly as hollow as these.” --Mike Bromley


“Yesterday was the first time in about 15 years that I’ve seen the entire sound and inlet freeze over in Montauk. My buddy Nick Jeockle, a commercial fisherman and avid surfer, called me up and told me to get my camera and get down there quick…he was watching ice-barrels line up into the bay.” -James Katsipis


“It was 1 degree out, with a wind chill of -17. I got out of the truck and my eyes started to water immediately, my eyelids were freezing shut. My face felt like it was getting hit by needles every time the wind blew. It was unreal to see the whole bay frozen over as well.” --James Katsipis


Look closely, and you’ll see the frozen head-high peaks rolling in along the snow-capped jetty. Empty though! Photo: Katsipis