Archive for the 'Surf' Category

Of Course I Surf, I Grew Up On An Island

I moved to California over ten years ago, but I began surfing way before then – in New York. Whenever a landlocked person or someone adverse to the ocean asks me how long I’ve been surfing they’re usually amazed when I tell them it’s been almost a couple decades. To which I then inform the inquisitive person that I did, in fact, grow up on an island.

Well, I’m back on the island this week and was welcomed home to rippable surf. My brother and I shredded Gilgo on Monday, returned for more on Tuesday but had to give good old Robert Moses a try due to the rising tide. The swell was pretty scattered – a la Ocean Beach, San Francisco – but still plenty rippable.

Chris is the guy going left in the first photo below, and I’m doing my best stalled out turn in the pic that follows.

You may have longer periods of flat spells depending on which island you grew up or current live on, but let’s be sure about one thing – if you’re on an island you better be surfing.

Chasing Barrels

As California has been enjoying the beginning of El Niño, the East Coast has been stuck in a long flat spell. But we did have a short stretch of small surf over the weekend. In the water we were talking about the WSL and Lower Trestles, and I was claiming that it would be an easy wave to surf. It seems like a perfect ramp of water that you can carve up. I like to think that I’d be a power surfer, throwing big fans of water as I hit the lip and release my fins.

My fellow Ice Tubes rider, George, told me that Lower Trestles wouldn’t be for him because he sees himself more of a hollow big wave guy. Keep in mind that George is saying this with a hinge of sarcasm while we surfed slow, waist-high surf. But George did send me photo proof of his hollow wave skills… We make do with what we had this summer.


Stay Cool During This New York Heat Wave With an Arctic Blast From the Past

We’re in the middle of a week long heat wave in New York with temps consistently hovering in the high 90’s. Since everyone is sitting around sweating, I thought now would be a good time to share a photo from this past winter. Think of this pic as a reminder to a time when we were all complaining about how cold it was outside. So there hasn’t been much surf lately, big deal. At least the water isn’t freezing. Stay cool this week.

Cold days

Watch Out for Spearfishermen in the Lineup

ocean beach spear fisherman

This seems crazy. I know almost nothing about spearfishing, but would assume that good visibility in the water is a necessity for identifying a fish and being able to propel a spear directly towards it. I’ve opened my eyes during plenty of duck dives at Ocean Beach and didn’t see much more than the nose of my board. There wasn’t anyone surfing when this guy slowly made his way into the ocean, although three people did paddle out once the spearfisherman made it past the break. I felt I should have told the surfers about the guy snorkeling around them with a really sharp projectile object, but I guess that’s just part of the fun of surfing Ocean Beach.

Jaws Themed Surf Van

jaws vw surf van

Ocean Beach, SF, CA, is a fun, let’s say, place to surf. It’s also a great place to see all sorts of weird things. After a pretty lackluster but expected start to summer surf conditions here in northern California I scored some fun waves on a Sunday before the 4th of July weekend. While I was driving home I passed this Volks surf van as the owner was getting out to pick up a coffee across the street. Doubt I’m the first person to photograph this guy’s Jaws inspired artwork of a vehicle, but if you look closely I capture the owner’s dog in the back left window and it looks like the little guy is about to become shark food!

Gimme Two to Three Footers and I’m Out There

Surfing 039

I spent the 4th of July weekend on dry land upstate in Cooperstown, but received text messages from buddies on Long Island saying that there were waves at Gilgo Beach. When I texted back later asking what I had missed, I was told “fun, but nothing special.”

My friend George sent me this photo of the very waves he was describing in his response, jokingly saying “Does this count as head-high?”

If you’re looking to surf Long Island during the summer and get a report of 2′-3′ waves with offshore winds… then you better be out there. If I was home I would have gone and it would have been fun.

Surprising Sunday

Sunday wave 1

Sunday wave 2

Those trusty online wave forecasting sites don’t let you down too often, but this Sunday both Surfline and Magicseaweed were way way off. I went to sleep Saturday night expecting Sunday to be nothing more than blown out surf, but when I woke up it was a totally different story. The Island was getting clean five to six footers, so I texted the crew and we were on it by 7:30am.

Sunday was one of the best days I’ve had on Long Island in a while — compare that to last Wednesday, when there were fun little waist high waves but about 45 other people in the water at 5am… The wave forecasters had it right then, but with a little less than ideal projections I found it a much more enjoyable time.

Beach Sundays


Warmer weather is finally here. So are the crowds. Winter is over, but the four-wheel driving season has officially begun. The Parks Department must sell a ton of permits, so scenes like this are likely going to become more common as we get deeper into summer. But, I’m enjoying the waist high waves and warm weather while thinking back on colder days when no one else was around.

My Hipster Surf Quiver Is Complete

surf mat

I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time and I’m not sure why. I completed my hipster surf quiver back in January on a trip to Guerneville.

The town’s five and dime was showcasing this surf mat in its window, and I happened to be strolling by when it caught my eye.

I’ve surfed a wooden board for a couple years now thanks to my brother Chris gifting it to me after he brought it out to San Francisco with him on a trip. Now, with a surf mat, my hipster quiver is whole.

The mat’s inflated for this photo, but I’ve yet to surf on it (which is pretty hipster).

Waves and Winter for Days

march waves

It’s officially Spring but the phrase I’m hearing most these days is “I’m over being cold.”

The north east had it bad, snow and cold has beaten everyone down, but I was reminded that the name of this blog is Ice Tubes so as long as the waves and the cold keep coming I will keep dealing with freezing headaches.

There were waves for the passed three days. Forget that it snowed all day Saturday, and forget that your wetsuit is never fully dry, just focus on the fact that their are waves now but soon it will be flat and you will wish these three days were back.

image arch waves2


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