I guess the first thing we should say is that nothing actually caught on fire. But the waves in front of the Army Corps’ construction site in downtown Montauk were firing this past Monday (figuratively, you know) and only two guys we’re there to take advantage of the pumping setup. The man behind the lens, James Katsipis, is responsible for not only the 16 lovely photos you can scroll through above, but also all the good deets behind the seemingly surreal experience, below.
“I was traveling home with Gringo Gut from Costa Rica sick as a dog and social media was pretty much making it worse because all I was seeing was posts of gaping barrels on all my friends’ feeds. Looked like the day of days and I was a day late.
After getting home and crawling up in a ball on the floor of my bathroom for a day, I decided it would be in my [best] interest to go down to the construction site of the Army Corp and see what was going on since I’ve been away for 10 days. It’s all blocked off so I had to sneak around some fences and make my way with my camera to the beach.
As I was peaking over the dune, I was blown away. Shocked really. Peeling waves in all directions. Crazy light and offshore winds combing the waves back. It was surreal seeing all the construction going on and these waves all around it. I had to take a seat and just take it all in for a minute.
So, I was shooting empties and I couldn’t surf because I was still fairly sick from Costa Rica. I knew my neighbor Chris is always down for a surf so I called him up — he was on his way to this other spot — and I was asked him to come check this out first and let me know if this is for real or am I dreaming and this is just a mirage. It was not a mirage at all.
As soon as he got here he took one look at if and ran and got suited up. I sat on that dune alone watching my buddy get wave after wave by himself. I couldn’t have been happier for him. I was rooting him on with every set. Arms up and waving at him but still keeping low, not to be seen. The marine patrol came by and stopped. I literally laid in the dirt pile and my buddy Chris was trying to pull the attention away from me haha. It was a bittersweet session for us being surrounded by all that destruction, but it was one we will both never forget.” — James Katsipis