I was just reflecting on this past winter's surf sessions and the empty glassy magic that becomes the Northeast. I already miss it. Well, I don't miss my 5 mil wetsuit that's for sure. But I was thinking... Is there was a way to determine what the best month of surfing is each year? There have been a few summer months where I catch massive numbers of waves in New England, but are the waves actually better then? Does quantity surpass quality? Can you even base it on the most waves caught? How about the most surf sessions? Or the most touchdowns (waves 100 yard+)? You could also go with total minutes in the water. Hmmm.
February was a great month if you factor in all of those criteria. I definitely caught some really fun waves during this month. The water was average cold this winter. It could have been colder, but I'm not calling it a warm winter by any means. The air temps briefly got warm, but by the beginning of March it was right back to the cold again. As of this weekend, the water hasn't hit 50 yet and it's the middle of May. But temperatures aside, I'm wondering... will February end up being the BEST month for surfing in 2017? No, But April May.
It's been an active Spring so far at the east-facing Nantasket and south-facing Horseneck. The angle of Nantasket beach faces more north but is still open to south swells with enough east in them. Horseneck faces straight south for the most part. But the winds have been messing up the opportunities to surf anything quality. I have managed a few dawn patrol sessions before the winds became too much of a factor. Somehow I caught 46 waves this past month. I guess that's what happens when swell lines up with the weekends once in a while! It was also slightly colder at 5:30 than 8 o'clock but I was warm in my 4/3 Rip Curl Flashbomb with 5mil Rubber Soul boots. I'm still wearing Flashbomb 5mil gloves, but I'm ready to shed those things pretty soon, maybe go down to my 2mils. I'm already wearing my 2mil hood and almost ready for my summer cap. I haven't had an ice cream headache in a few sessions now.
I go with the Rip Curl Flashbomb line mostly in the 4/3 range because even though it's on the heavy side, it keeps me warm when the temperatures still aren't high enough to be called Spring. The inner lining is fuzzy and warm. This suit outperforms the competition on that front. April hovered in the low 40's and May pretty much stayed in that area until last weekend when it felt a bit warmer. I'm ready for my 3mil wetsuits and more flexibility. I just need the water temperatures to catch up!
The waves on the other hand have been really fun the past few sessions. Through the middle of May I'm out-pacing all years since I've started tracking my waves with the Rip Curl Search Watch. Hopefully this summer can continue the surfing trend. I'm currently in an investigative mode trying to determine the best use of my time this summer. I'm going to keep my options open to wherever the swell looks the most fun and least crowded. Warmth will also factor in there, I'm craving my shortboard, barefeet, and gouging turns. Right now I've got my eye on some Atlantic destinations. If they fickle out, there's always the Pacific as a backup. There are bound to be waves with no crowds somewhere in Central America or Mexico. Those trips are easy and I can pull the trigger last minute.
I'm also looking into an expedition for the first few weeks of August. If the waves cooperate I'm hoping to check the box for surfing in Canada. Stay tuned for that one. My camping skills will be tested. Haha