2004-10-29 / Sports

Roaring Fall Waves Beat the Cold Weather

By Henrick Karoliszyn Surfing Columnist

By Henrick Karoliszyn
Surfing Columnist

Strong winds, dropping temperatures and the evident change in season, could not stop dozens of surfers from paddling out this third week of October. After weeks of flat, generally small to mediocre waves, the surfers were finally ready for the big fronts at 90th Street and they were not disappointed. “We have all been waiting for this,” rider, Anthony Rollins, said. “This is the biggest I have seen it; at last!”

The season reemerged in a big way, with colossal waves and thunderous barrels that spread throughout the 90s. Provoked by a Southern hurricane in central Miami, Florida, according to a CNN report, the waves have been generating forcefully since Friday and have increased since. It was arguably “the best day of the year,” according to surfer Ted Mills, of Arizona, was on Sunday.

With surfers in the water riding giants on Sunday, spectators were on the beach and boardwalk, enjoying the sight. “I love this,” said John Macenzie, who lives in Glendale, Queens. “Watching those guys surf, is like vicariously surfing through them.”

There were also photographers and camera people on hand to witness the monumental spectacle. “These waves are the best they’ve been since the 92’ hurricane,” said one photographer. Hurricane Andrew, which in 1992, according to the www.NOAA.com storm tracking website, was the most destructive in the United States, ever to be recorded. Hitting Southern Florida on August 24, 1992, the estimated peak gust of 164 mph generated approximately 12 foot waves along the Eastern Coastline, including Rockaway and Long Beach, according to the site.

With sets coming in as high as 15 feet, on Sunday, this mark was surpassed throughout the day. Even as the moon came out, 5 surfers were still facing the treacherous conditions to catch rides. Miguel Samson, a native of Puerto Escondido, Mexico, was one of the surfers outside. “Unbelievable thrill,” Samson said of the waves. “I have never seen it like this.”

The only problem that seemed to arise was actually getting out. With the massive whitewash and breaking waves, it was not easy to paddle through, to where the waves were curling and ride able. Some tried getting on the jetty to jump in after a big wave hit, but it seemed to be the same struggle; “It is so tough to get out,” Rollins said.

As the forecast indicates, the waves are going to die down on Friday and Saturday and will be waist to chest high on Sunday.

The following week looks to be small and unmatched, compared to this past historical one. Veteran surfer, Ted Stevens, said, “Enjoying the big ones is worth waiting through the small ones.”

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