Surf Color

Surfers Travel More Than Just Currents

Surf ColorThe last week of the fall semester, students at MU ignored the onset of cold, while thoughts of finals consumed them. As break began, a harsh reality sank in: winter in this state can get to you. Bitter cold, and when the waves are flat, surfers begin to go stir crazy.  For most students, a month reprieved from school means long Netflix sessions, clocking a few hours at an old job, or reconnecting with high school friends.  For the few lucky surfers, winter break is not characterized by icy water and a five-millimeter wetsuit, but rather white, hot sand and bright board shorts.

Travelling is any surfer’s dream. An escape from the frozen tundra which encaptures NJ to far-away warm lands is every surfer’s ideal winter break. 

Just as a surfer must fully commit to a wave, he must fully commit the same way to a trip. The outcome is totally unknown, yet in that statement lies the true beauty of a surf excursion.  Strange people, strange culture, and hopefully, stellar surf. 

The first sliver of warm sun peaks through a thin, lightly colored curtain, and before you realize you had fallen asleep, you are up again ready to take on the day. You can taste the salt in the air and start to hear the first noise of motion around you. The sound of waves crashing is distant, but audible, as you throw on a pair of sunglasses still sporting the board shorts you slept in. 

This scenario is a mere dream for most, but for freshman Paul Kelly and sophomore Hunter Rainis, it was a beautiful reality. 

Kelly found long board solace in Barbados, while Rainis hit the swell of a lifetime in Puerto Rico. Both living the dream, both more stoked than ever.

“It was my first real surf trip and I was excited to see surfing in another country,” said Kelly as he recapped his journey. “It was an awesome experience; I surfed in 85 degree water and weather every day with consistently good waves.”

Across the Caribbean, was fellow MU student, Hunter Rainis. 

 “We knew there was going to be a swell and you could see the swell on the plane ride over,” said Rainis. “Despite getting sea urchins in my feet, sunburnt shoulders and one of the many wild dogs wanting a piece of me on the beach, it was a solid trip with waves.”

In the end, the boys were content on coming home.

“It was nice to get away from the cold but I realized while down [in Barbados] that there is no place like home in NJ,” explained Kelly.

While, surfers who stayed in Jersey all break may have disagreed with him, all doubt about Jersey surfing was blown to sea by winter storm Juno.

The MU surf community was rather thankful for Juno’s arrival. It provided days off from school, some relaxation time, and let’s not forget some heaving, icy barrels. 

While snow can stop most from doing simple tasks such as walking outside, snow has no control over committed surfers like those that inhabit NJ. 

MU surfers were not fazed by below-freezing temperatures, or even walking to the beach in the harsh conditions. From glassy, summer surf, to unforgiving, polar peaks, the boys of winter can do it all with a smile on their faces and love in their hearts. 

PHOTO COURTESY of Hunter Rainis