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Riley was crazy from the start. We knew the possibility of a major storm coming a solid week before it happened but the models change so much you couldn’t really get excited until the last minute. Watching the forecasts show solid overhead surf for almost a week isn’t something we see around here often — especially with offshore wind. Being from Connecticut it’s a haul for me to get anywhere to shoot waves, so I made the call the day before the first peak day of swell to go and stay with a friend in New England.

The first day of swell (spent in New England) provided great waves and got pretty large by the end of the day. The second morning started off really good so we checked a mysto spot that normally doesn’t get very big. It was absolutely pumping. Reeling lefts with makeable barrels. There was so much swell in the water some outer slabs/reefs were breaking.

I made the call the next morning after shooting for an hour or two. I was going to catch a flight down to South Florida later that day hoping to catch the second half of the swell in a new place.

It was dark when I got to Florida, so I couldn’t see the waves but I certainly could hear them from across the road. When I got up the next morning there was no question I’d made the right call. To my surprise, Florida provided for the next few days before finally calming down a full week after it had all begun in New England.

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Winter Storm Riley won’t soon be forgotten on the East Coast.


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