At this very moment, I can only think of two types of people that eagerly look forward to hurricane season. The first bunch would have to be amateur storm chasers. Hurricane season provides ample opportunity for amateur storm chasers — equipped with walkie talkies, video + camera gear, and a van/monster truck — to make their break into the big leagues by documenting named storms as they make their unpredictably grand entrance toward and upon U.S. soil.
The second group of hurricane season lovers — as most of us know — are surfers and surf photographers, collectively. I can’t even begin to tell you how wild things get when a storm somewhere off in the Atlantic forms and gives even the slightest look our way. It’s like the hottest senior babe in the entire high school giving a half-second glance in you and your whole freshman lunch table’s general direction. This storm… this glance… it means one thing to surfing’s tribe: there’s a chance we could score.
As the storm draws closer and closer, surfers everywhere form wolf-packs via phone calls and group messages that more-than-often include optimistic speculation and ridiculous exclamations. “We can’t just all show up to her house. Jimmy’s gotta come with us. Yeah, I know he doesn’t have any game but his older brother can get us beer.” And in pre-hurricane surf tongue, that can be translated to, “Look, we gotta invite Billy. He can’t shred but he’s got that super nice camera to capture us ripping and getting absolutely tubed out of our minds.”
And so it happens. The swell forecast grows tall and green, surfers and photogs link up, plan a time and place, set their alarms and pray that they don’t get skunked or greeted by a like-minded crowd when they finally roll up to thy holy spot.
This past weekend, Hurricane Joaquin did exactly that — dancing its way up and off the coast, sending pumping waves to each and every state along the East Coast. It’s been called the most “photographed swell of the year” as well as the “hurricane with the most difficult name to pronounce.” Above you will find a gallery filled with savory surf content from Chef Joaquin, made possible by a handful of East End wolf-packs, as well as some surf photographers that have significantly more game than Jimmy and Billy combined + were happy to hop behind the lens and put the team on their back.
Hasta La Vista,