Monday’s winter storm created amazing surfing conditions in New Jersey this week
While most New Jersey residents were shoveling their driveways or dealing with the high winds and rain during Monday’s winter storm, surfers were out enjoying a day that many will be talking about on the beaches for years to come.
“The waves were so big, you would see one coming and by the time you paddled out to it, it would just be there or over there. They would just swing like crazy,” says surfer and YouTuber Ben Gravy.
Gravy describes last Monday’s surf conditions in New Jersey. It was a day that few in the state’s surfing community will ever forget. The winter storm kicked up waves as big as anyone can remember. Gravy flew home from a trip to California to find the conditions bigger and better in the Garden State.
“For me personally, by far the biggest waves I’ve ever seen in New Jersey,” Gravy says.
After getting battered and failing to even be able to paddle out three times, Gravy waited an hour for something rideable. He then finally caught a very large wave.
“Oh my God, there’s no way that wave is that big. No way that wave is that big, dude. Holy tarnation,” Gravy could be heard saying.
Some called it a 10-foot wave, while others thought it might have been 15 feet tall. Others thought it might have been 30 feet.
Measuring any wave is impossible. Surfers famously disagree on how to even measure a wave. The endless debate and ribbing about the height of any given wave is part of the fun, according to surfers.
“I think people enjoy the discussion. Is it the biggest? No, because all the old-school guys are saying not even close – it was bigger in ’77. And then people who might not really know are like, ‘That’s a 30-footer.’ And then like all of us are like, ‘Eh, it’s pretty big.’ But we don’t really know, you can’t say,” says Gravy.
Gravy's livelihood is selling surfboards with his name and logo on it and making videos for his 153,000 YouTube subscribers. So, he has an interest in saying this was the biggest wave ever ridden in New Jersey. And some might back him up on that. But he says he's smart enough to stop just short of that audacious claim.
“That’s a heavy claim. I don’t know that I can actually make the claim that it’s the biggest wave ever in New Jersey,” says Gravy.
There are other factors besides sheer size adding to the legend of this ride as arguably the craziest ever. The icy wind chill and frigid water temps and the fact that Gravy forgot his fiberglass board and rode one his Ben Gravy model soft top surfboards. They're foamy boards mostly sold to beginners.
Adhering to surfer etiquette, Gravy will not divulge the precise location of the wave, but will only say that it was somewhere in Ocean County.