Unless You’re A Resident, The Right Coast Is A Foreign Shore On Home soil. But It Needn’t Be So
You are about to enter the money round of an East Coast issue. Brown water and stiff offshores. Accents and alligators. You may even climb a New York skyscraper. Nervous? It’s understandable. If you’re not from this part of the United States, these distinctly Eastern characteristics can seem scary and foreign. And if you are, well then, welcome home. You can turn the page now. But for those who feel the anxious tug of the scary and foreign, who tune out during hurricane talk and don’t care how many world titles the East Coast holds (20), we ask that you set aside your prejudices for the moment. Relax. You’re in a safe place. Open your heart to Bermuda Highs and nor’easters.
But what the f–k, exactly, is a Bermuda High and nor’easter, you ask? And we’re glad that you did. Because it’s through education that we break down our bias and come to see a place and its people for what they really are. So, with that in mind, we’ll use this issue to teach you about the storms. About barrier islands and drift sessions. We will take you to the place where the sun rises over the ocean and we will meet the residents upon which that sun shines. We will learn about the East Coast and, through our newly acquired knowledge, we will learn to love it. Grits and grease and all.
Beach Badge: Introduced in 1954, the beach badge is a plastic tag that grants you access to New Jersey beaches in the summertime. Eight dollars gets you one day of fun in the sand and sea. And while Balaram Stack is a New York boy through and through, he will happily drop eight bucks for New Jersey ramps. Bal, stalefish. Photo: DJ Struntz
Barrier Island: A long and narrow island of sand that parallels the mainland coast. The Outer Banks (right) are made up of a collection of barrier islands. Photo: Matt Lusk
Drift Session: A surf session in which one gets dropped off miles up the coast and surfs his way home with the help of a wind-generated current. Brett Barley, going with the flow. Buxton, North Carolina. Photo: Patrick Ruddy
Nor’easter: A strong storm system that moves from the northeast to the south. Common during winter months and known for producing short period swells and severe weather. Rockaway, New York, firing during a frigid nor’easter. Photo: James Brady