Winter Blizzard “Hercules” packs a punch

Winter surfing in New York will prove your dedication and love for the sport. When most people are buying lift tickets and plane tickets, there is always a crew back at home waiting on the blizzards to surf alone. Most call us crazy but to us there is nothing crazy about it. This is what we grew up doing, we are just a product of our upbringing, it is in our blood.

We caught up with young up and coming photographer Ian Cooke about his day in the snow with Hercules.


NYSEA– Seems like today was one to remember, How did it play out for you and the crew?


Ian– “Both the surfers and the photographers out here on the east end started getting excited when they heard that waves and a blizzard were lining up for the same day. Woke up this morning around 6:30 and left the house by 7 to take a look at the ocean about 3 minutes down the road from my house. It was absolutely freezing outside with a strong offshore wind, and the ocean was very drifty. Even though it didn’t look perfect, I knew there was some serious potential. I checked a few more spots, snapped a couple photos of the snow, and then went home and got in touch with the Whalebone crew. Brothers Nick and Jesse Joeckel picked me up at my house around 9 with Austin Eckardt in the back seat of the truck, all three of them fully suited up and ready, with Austin even wearing a beanie on top of his hood (it was about 9 degrees outside). We made our way to the spot of choice, jogged down the snowy trail and met up with Charlie Weimar, the guys then took one last look at the ocean before paddling out. Dreamy looking lefts peeling down the beach. We were soon joined by fellow surfers Travis Beckmann, Tyler Maguire and Patrick Havlik, as well as water photographer Justin Burkle. I was getting some good shots right off the bat, both empty and ridden waves, and it wasn’t long before I saw Tyler come walking up the beach with his board in two pieces. We stayed for a while longer before it was time to make a hot chocolate run and check a few more spots, then deciding to take a lunch break. Later in the day I met up with the crew again a little further out east, still freezing and windy…and significantly bigger. I shot some photos from the cliff’s edge above and had a great time watching my friends get a few bombs, the whole time just thinking “these guys are animals.” One by one the crew made their way out of the water after a while, and by the time I was heading home the sun was going down. A day after a snow storm well spent, documenting pure New York surfing.”

NYSEA – Right on Ian, Thanks for the update and gallery. Great shots ! Great crew !

Follow Ian @iancookephoto for more epic shots. Check out full gallery below.