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Prior to the excursion northward, the crew that included Richie Bogart, TJ Gumiela and the Skudins, moved southward to taste the beginnings of the swell in New Jersey. The winds became an issue throughout most of the trip, making it a waiting game for fronts to move overhead and swell to fill in. New Jersey is all beach breaks and its orientation makes a great catcher's mitt for swell. There we found overhead surf with offshores that tickled our feet late in the day and this was just the first pulse of the swell. We started getting our hopes up for this hurricane because the projected swell heights were similar to those in the past when we had scored a particular gem of a wave in 2010. All of our plans were set in place and we did our best to conceal our excitement between one another because as history has shown time and time again, the more hype a swell has the longer the fall.© 2014 Matthew Clark
After our day in New Jersey, clutching onto consciousness, we packed up the gear and headed towards our planned destination with the intent of being on it at dawn. Exhausted, Cliff and Will traded off taking the wheel throughout the night until we finally arrived with zombie eyes and caffeinated veins. The swell was filling in nicely along this stretch of coastline and the exploration was to begin. TJ and Richie had been dropped off in NY at the Unsound Right Coast Cup competition and were relaying descriptions of home and what we were missing. NY was onshore and similar to the size we found in New Jersey the day before. Will and Cliff, both known for their big wave charging, unhitched the trailer carrying two Jet Ski's, and packed their lunches. The ragged and solemn coastline can be strewn with unridden waves due either to their restricted access, treacherous entry zones, or just the fear instilled in a lone surfer when paddling over "dark water". It's for these reasons that they become dazzling to an adventurous surfer and we were like children capturing fireflies on an August summer night as we tore across the ever changing deep blue seascape. There were so many possibilities in what we found that excitement couldn't be contained, we were guaranteed to score... or so we thought.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Over the first two or three days of taking the ski out we plotted our course for the anticipated bump in swell heights. We had our charts out and marked off spots along the coast that matched or resembled the bottom contours of the slab we came to surf in hopes of pulling up to a sister wave in the vicinity. Each day passing the swell either pushed back another day or dropped in size.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Morale dropped further and further as each check of the main spot revealed the same size and power, disappointing as we had initially expected more. Unfortunately TS Leslie kept sliding further out into the Atlantic pushing the swell away from us and over to Nova Scotia. Something you learn on one of these voyages is that it's much different than what the weekend warrior will go through when spot checking during a hurricane swell. More often than not, your local surfer will show up at the home spot and either go out no matter what the conditions are - or they will check another lesser spot for a playful and stress reducing session because time is against them. It's quite the opposite when you're away from home, we didn't come to relax, we came to do work and ride new waves. It's constant homework and checking the forecast, reading buoys, and checking maps not to mention all of the other tinker-tot work you have to do to maintain forward progress on the "mission".© 2014 Matthew Clark
Truth be told everyone left New England satisfied and we were more than happy with how the swell turned out alongside the local hospitality and interest in what we were doing there. We made the best of the swell that never quite matured as we'd have wished with sessions at a smaller protected reef point and even some sessions at one of the more well known slabs. Putting around "north of nowhere", along coastline that's been etched by the sea, the chill of the fall, whitewash explosions along a rocky shore, and the faint chime sung by the sway of a bell buoy at sea puts a seafarers smile on your mug, one which often resembles a stone faced grimace yet hides the butterflies of excitement. Excitement planted in the pits of our stomachs patiently waiting to sprout as we anticipate the next low pressure system to ripple rhythmic lines through the Atlantic.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Will funneling the expertise he's garnered from many years spent on the North Shore to weasel his way through this technical section.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Gumelia basking in the evening fall colors. Though autumn doesn't start until mid-September, the chill is already present in the northeast and winters blue hues are just around the corner.© 2014 Matthew Clark
With absolutely no access to this wave other than by water, we're fairly certain this wave goes unridden almost every time it breaks if it's even ever been ridden at all.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Cliff Skudin pictured driving here, his brother Will glowing as the remnants of Leslie begin to fade away.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Not a soul in sight just outside one of the most populated cities on earth. Incredible.© 2014 Matthew Clark
New England is one of the most beautiful coasts in the world. Home to a rich heritage of families tied to the Atlantic and an abundance of sealife.© 2014 Matthew Clark
This guy potentially caught one of our meals this day. The rocky shore and that ocean haze truly are the essence of New England.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Just as the first lines of Leslie's week long swell arrived, Will Skudin was already in the ocean enjoying the first day off after a long summer running Skudin Surf camp alongside his brother Cliff.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Gumelia packed into a neat New Jersey tube. It's hard to find lefts in New Jersey but the one's you do get open real wide.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Richie Bogart made the best of a day in New Jersey before competing the following day in the Unsound Right Coast Cup presented by Quiksilver.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Tight and in control, Will Skudin threading the needle.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Cliff with his eyes on the exit, plotting a stylish claim? Not today.© 2014 Matthew Clark
A rusty dock ring, arty looking, yes. But just take a moment and imagine how many stories are contained in that worn metal.© 2014 Matthew Clark
The break in the storm, finally some sun as we finished up a morning of shooting.© 2014 Matthew Clark
At a lower tide this spot really comes together if it isn't all that big. Here you can see one that slid along the reef perfectly.© 2014 Matthew Clark
Will jamming his arm in the face for a quick look out of this New York tube.© 2014 Matthew Clark
A look at the slabs fist.© 2014 Matthew Clark
TJ Gumiela punting tail first through the storm.© 2014 Matthew Clark
A New York corner we found protected from some wind with plenty of face to work with.© 2014 Matthew Clark
TJ Gumiela releasing the rail, tail, and fins.© 2014 Matthew Clark
A secret little right we found, this wave would stand up out of nowhere then bowl so hard over one slab of reef and then fizzle out.© 2014 Matthew Clark
The bowl about to toss and will leaning straight into it.© 2014 Matthew Clark
An eagle's claw caressing an overcast sky.© 2014 Matthew Clark
A local paddled out and went for one. He ended up pinned to the reef and clutching his heel after a magnificent elevator drop and paddled back to the rocky shore.© 2014 Matthew Clark
The Yeti is real and we chased it through forest and stream in the dead of the PNW winter.
A cacophony of bells reverberated around the sandstone cliffs of Bells Beach on Wednesday, announcing the wins of two wholly unsurprising victors.
The Approaching Lines Festival is a three-night extravaganza showcasing the cream of UK and International surf filmmaking.
Two Argentinian brothers journey into the myth infused archipelago of Patagonia.
Drawn in by the ugly perfection of P-Pass, Alex and Koa Smith journeyed to those isolated dots of sand in the western Pacific and ended up scoring one of the best sessions of the year.